July 21, 2021
OMG it’s Wednesday! I had a rough night last night. Today is the fifth day without coffee, and yesterday I had my first true noticeable side effect which was muscle aches. I had plogged to the beach which I think didn’t help. It was a gentle plog. My legs were so achy yesterday and I had to walk around the house. I google searched caffeine withdrawal (yes doctors google things too) and read up on the symptoms. For the most part, I’ve been well and even this morning am coffee free. But I wasn’t sure what was happened yesterday until I read an article last night. I drank plenty of water thinking some of my muscle cells might be breaking down and then I took ibuprofen 600mg. I sat on the yoga mat and did some stretches which made it worse. I think just sat and tried to meditate a bit, which helped. Eventually the aching subsided and I was able to go to sleep. But it was a restful and almost full eight hours of sleep which is amazing. This morning I’m feeling well. I’m drinking a cup of tea without any sugar or cream, as I realize my body probably needs to wean from the caffeine gradually. But I do think it’s a victory to have stopped the coffee habit. I was just drinking too many cups and adding too many cream and sugar.
But it’s Wednesday and I’m hopeful this Wednesday. I’m hopeful for new climate projects and just new projects in general. Usually I do little news bits and pieces, but I haven’t really read CNN or follow the news lately. I’m trying to live in the real world. I used to obsessively read the news but not anymore. It helps slow down time not being tethered to the endless news cycle of doom and gloom. They are trying to make money off the audience anyway. News is a business too.
Five Items That Give Me Hope, Are All Things That We’ve Accomplished
- UCSD School of Medicine: There is some sort of planetary report card that ranks how medical schools fair on their climate change and health curriculum and general sustainability. It was developed my a UCSF medical student who is from San Diego, and the daughter of a Sharp Family Practice climate and health advocate. This physician is a leader in another medical group, and recently joined our advocacy team. Anyway, our local medical school UCSD doesn’t even make the list. All I did was link up three students together, and cc’ed my academic friend and former medical school classmate Dr. Luis Castellanos. https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-luis-castellanos-cardiologist-doing-his-part-for-the-environment-7/ That group is working on many other projects, but they are going to speak with their dean and raise this issue.
- Pediatric Board Member for StayCool4Grandkids: This is a local San Diego based climate group who is part of the Rewild Mission Bay Coalition. They are looking for a public health voice on their board. We had a young pediatrician who wants to start doing climate work, and I thought this would be an amazing way for him to begin networking and become involved. I made the e-introductions this morning and likely the two physicians are on their way.
- AAP-CA3 Climate Change and Health Committe and San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air Apply to Join Rewild Mission Bay Coalition: This is a carbon sink project that just makes sense. We need the most natural bay to protect against storm surges, sequester carbon, provide more shorebird habitat, and provide active transport opportunities for children. This is something we’ve discussed at several of our meetings. I just emailed them and said “My name is XXX, and I am the co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics – CA3 (San Diego) Climate Change and Health Committee, and also Co-Founder of San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air. https://sdpediatriciansforcleanair.com We had our monthly meeting. We are an overlapping group of 40 mostly pediatricians, premedical students and some allied health voices that advocate together on climate. Both groups after our monthly meeting yesterday, would like to formally apply to join the coalition. Many of us live near the bay as well, and we feel this is in the best interest for pediatric health. Please let me know if there is anything further I need to do. We have logos that we can send as well.” It’s amazing how much climate work one can do by sending just one email.
- Air Pollution Control District: Hearing Committee – Pediatricians as the Public Health Member: One of our members won a seat on the hearing committee for the Air Pollution Control District Hearing Committee. There are three pediatricians on key positions for public health regarding air pollution. I’m patting myself on the back. I think I had an important role in all those political maneuverings. Yes I did. The candidate is great by the way. I’m just really good at letter writing and bringing together like-minded earth-loving pediatricians.
- AirKeepers Program: This program I heard from Lori Byron, and they have been able to do it in Montana. I found out about the Prather lab at UCSD, and I guess the foremost expert on atmospheric aerosols something or another is local. And then I take care of a mother who is a middle school chemistry teacher and is connected with all the science education folks in the southbay. The key would be to get funding so that these middle schools have PM2.5 sensors and then run a flag up each day, with different colors depending on the air pollution. I think the San Diego APCD has a grant but I have to look at it. Anyway, been talking about it and I nees to call Dr. Sabrina Perrino to see how we can put this all together. Link a pediatrician from San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air to each middle school. Draw the bonds between pediatricians and students closer. Educate and advocate together. Raise awareness. This would fit into middle school science’s integrative science model and the “citizen scientist” projects. This is our big next project.
So lots of things to be excited for. Our journal article will publish this week I think. I check the Children’s At Risk website and the Journal of Applied Research on Children. I submitted the final revisions last week. We also got a great offer on one of our rental properties. That way I can pay my family member for the rest of my portion for our Oregon farm. For the price of a studio in downtown San Diego near Petco Park, I bought half of a massive Oregon farm. Makes no sense, sometimes real estate prices. And then I’m going to invest some of that equity (if we close the deal) on an event center in the East County. I’m really excited. I’m going to start up a dance studio and event center. I figure anytime I want to go to classes there, if I partially own it – I can go for free. And then when our climate group needs to hold events, we’ll do it at that event center. I may even put a small office for San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air there. Escaping the HMO Machinery (well not quite yet because I’m doing a countdown) has been a blessing. I have more freedom to be creative and think of new climate projects. As I was texting with a close friend yesterday that was asking me how I was doing. I replied, “I’m fine. It’s literally easier to save the earth than fix the department.” Yes it is. At least for me. I have to do things my way.