Musings / Philosophical – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Musings / Philosophical

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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Silly screenshot collage I made last night.

May 15, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Today is a big day for our family. Our oldest is in ninth grade and taking his AP Computer Science exam today. The picture above is a silly collage of screenshots I took last night, while he was relaxing downstairs in his room. I was playing with our puppy but more to distract myself from worrying about our son. His exam is at 1pm today, and Mr. Plastic Picker is working from home to make sure our son logs in on time and everything goes as planned despite the abbreviated exam due to COVID-19 quarantine. The exam is an hour long and online, which is different than other AP exams in years past. But despite the abbreviated nature of the exam, it is a big day for our family.

Mr. Plastic Picker and I met in collage and proceeded to live an idyllic life of students in love. We were always very frugal and were raised with similar values, so we would go out once a week to the same Korean restaurant for over 10 years at the same table with the same waitress and ordering the same dish. Otherwise we mostly just ate simple dinners in the University Dining Hall and would take walks around Boston. We watched a lot of movies. And then at some point, it was time to have kids and we had our oldest when I was in between Intern and Junior year of pediatric residency also still in Boston. I remember sitting with the Chief of Pediatrics, this lauded figure in academic medicine who had published many front-page articles in Nature, and he asked me to be Chief Resident – and I was honored and accepted but also told him I was pregnant.

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Overgrown plant along a busy street in our neighborhood.

May 15, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I was sitting on a giant Snorlax waiting for my daughter to finish her nightly routine, and for me to tuck her in. She is taller than me now, and I was half asleep petting our fluffy black small dog. My daughter came out and laid on the floor, and watched me pet our dog who is really her dog. And I woke up and looked at her and I said, “If I had known you when I was twelve, I’m not sure if I would have been your friend?” My daughter looked a bit taken aback. I continued, “I think I would have been jealous of you. You are so nice, so smart and pretty and I think I would have only been your friend if you liked Star Trek.” My daughter smiled and said, “That doesn’t make sense because I’m half you.” She is used to my nonsensical comments here and I had had a tiring and frustrating day at work. She proceeded to tell me about her day. She is generally a much quieter person than I was at the same age.

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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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Mr. Plastic Picker’s foot. It is a very attractive foot that is touching the sand.

March 6, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Mr. Plastic Picker, as I have mentioned before, is also an MD. He is a specialist specialist in a speciality department. But this is my blog and I am Dr. Plastic Picker in this virtual realm and he is Mr. Plastic Picker.

The current COVID-19 news has affected us both at work, since we work for the same large HMO. I have to worry about more pressing clinical concerns and workflows since I see patients, but Mr. Plastic Picker is not as affected since he can work without actually touching or being in physical contact with patients in his specialty department.

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January 11, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s difficult to be a child especially a teenager right now. I am trying to do everything we need to do as parents to ensure our kids’ future, and bring this decade’s work of rewilding the world with joy. Parents especially mothers have been mobilized because our children became activist. I have always been environmentally aware, but seeing the young including my own children strike for the climate – awoke me. But as they have been awoken, they are anxious. We actually don’t talk about the climate too much but they know why we are making the changes that we are making, and the donations Mr. Plastic Picker and I do for their sakes.

Our high-school son told me about the above figure EarthChan who is an anime-style anthropomorphic representation of planet Earth. She is a young girl and when you look at her from above, her hair is blue and green and covered with clouds and resembles the planet Earth. Initially when our son told us about Earth Chan and that many youngsters were being activated to help the earth due to her, I was dismissive. But then, I began to realize that just like the ancient Inca civilization and the present day Quechuan speak of the Pachamama – Earth Chan may be the current generation’s planet Earth – their Pachamama.

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My “Trashy” bird project. It’s not turning out as well as the Trashy whale in Blue. I probably need to work on it more. Maybe the Instagram deactivation is meant to be?

January 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I was having too much fun on Instagram. I was up to almost 200 followers and then my account was deactivated because I violated some rules. I’m pretty sure it was because the word I was trying to write for Korean New Year’s soup is maybe a bad word to someone. I don’t know. I haven’t learned how to type in Korean and Vietnamese on the internet yet. It’s on my to-do list for 2020, along with saving the earth. I’m just a middle-aged pediatrician trying to pick up trash! Anyway, I’ve emailed back the Instagram team and we’ll see what happens.

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A less-plastic-life means eating more fruit with peel. I bring it in a cloth napkin. An apple for myself, and one for each child. An apple a day (5g of fiber!) truly can keep the doctor, constipation, and tension headaches away!

December 26, 2019

by drplasticpicker.com

I have been a middle manager now for 2.5 years. In our organization my position is a 6-year-term, so I am 41% of the way through this term. For about 2 years, I had tension headaches (80% of the time as a middle manager). I had never had many headaches before I became a middle manager, and since becoming drplasticpicker about 4 months ago – my tension headaches are gone (0% of the time as drplasticpicker).

I want to emphasize that before going into middle management, I had gone through the gauntlet of medical training with children and had never had any headaches. Sometimes the stress of moving up the professional ladder can be too much.

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Our destination. Christmas Tree at the end of the town pier. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

December 12, 2019

by drplasticpicker

It seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes our family chooses “to do nothing” in order to do something. Last spring, I was lucky to accompany our hospital’s residency program on a trip to the Andes Mountains in Peru. I was able to fulfill one of my dreams as the attending pediatrician and helped >400 children of the indigenous Quechuan people. It was a trip and 2 weeks that I will never forget.

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