Pediatrics – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Pediatrics

The view from the HMO parking lot as I was leaving work. Trees were always there and the sun sets every evening. I just noticed it’s beauty for the first time in 10 years.

February 22, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is 441AM on a Saturday morning and I am typing away. In about an hour and a half, the sun will be rising and it will be time for me to plog to the beach and pick up another bag of ocean plastic. Daylight Savings time is coming. On March 8 at 2AM, we will move forward an hour and it will be 3AM. That means on March 8, I will likely instead of waking up at 4AM will wake up at 5AM. The blogging and beach cleaning most mornings and the deep restful nights of sleep, has reset my body to be with the earth. On March 8, I am going to be fine just as I was fine the last time our clocks “fell back.”

I am sitting at the kitchen table looking at the first house plant I have ever purchased. It is a “ponytail palm” from Home Depot. Last night, we had to go shopping for our daughter’s History Day project. Her middle school friends are coming over later to have a marathon work session, and we had to pick up supplies. We went to the local Michael’s and Home Depot. As someone who has been picking up ocean plastic pollution for the last 6 months, walking into a deserted Michael’s on Friday night with the light reflecting off all the new plastic and glittery things was a bit discombobulating. I know at some point all those shiny plastic things will become more weathered plastics for me to pick up.

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Picture from our 2nd beach cleaning. I always tag #oceansareourlungs It is true. But let’s talk about your actual lungs!

February 10, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s Sunday morning and I usually would go to the beach, but my body is very tired and I am afraid I might fall. I am trying to stay in tune with my body and most mornings I have the energy and the need to go plastic picking. But last night, we had our department party and it was a big success. It was fun to put on the little black dress I wear just once a year and fancy sparkly wedge heels. Mr. Plastic Picker agreed that I looked nice. Mr. Plastic Picker looked very nice too in his blue blazer from Macys. Despite leaving early the fun and the revelry early at 9pm, drplasticpicker is too tired to go plastic picking. Plus I have to work this afternoon at our after hours clinic from 130-5pm. Humans are not meant to stay up late, and the world is not meant to have so much light pollution as humans are partying late into the late. Light pollution is causing the insect apocolypse https://drplasticpicker.com/xeres-invertebrate-society-can-a-pediatricians-avatar-drplasticpicker-help-save-the-western-monarch-butterfly/.

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January 25, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I have been practicing pediatrics for 15 years, and have been a general pediatrician at my current HMO for over 10 years. I have been in the same office at the end of the hallway this entire time. Right outside my office is an old radiology light-box reading light, that I have asked them to leave it there eventhough we’ve moved onto digital images a decade ago because I like how old-school it looks. Sometimes I walk by and push the on and off light button just for fun. I also fished out an old-fashion stadiometer scale out of the supply closet two summers ago and put it at the end of the hallway next to my office (where the hallway ends without an egress) because sometimes the old-fashioned things that have been tried and true work best. I use that stadiometer with its level and weights and tap tap tap until I get the right measurement sometimes, and pull out the metal stadiometer bars to see how tall the kids are. It’s always accurate unlike the digital ones.

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Our real life kitchen with snacks ready for our family of six. 2 adults, 2 grandparent adults, and 2 growing children.

January 18, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The great thing about this blog, is that @drplasticpicker can write whatever I want. And what I want to do is save the earth and the oceans, save my patients and their families, and for everyone to be healthy and equal. Is that too much to ask? One way I can get what I want, is to expound upon the objective truths I know as someone who has been a pediatrician for over 15 years. The cause of a lot of the worlds’ problems is that kids have learned to snack on foods that are too processed, too high in salt and too high in sugar. Processed foods with too much salt and too much sugar lead to Taste-Bud Dysfunction. I have coined a new condition. You, the many toddlers in my practice who are picky eaters . . . Yes You, the teenagers who are prediabetic. Many of YOU have Taste-Bud Dysfunction. Something is wrong with your Taste-Buds that you can’t taste the natural sweetness of an apple or the natural flavor of unsalted food. This is not your fault, it is the fault of big corporations that have fooled at least two generations to think that packaged food is food. Indeed most packaged food is not food, it is junk, and for drplasticpicker – it is also trash that litters the beach.

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Trahy Whale in Blue – looking good so far! Trahy as of 1/5/20 553am. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

January 5, 2020

by drplasticpicker

If you have reached this post, you are either a real new patient of drplasticpicker or a sentinent being out there in the internet universe looking for inspiration, free entertainment or were mistakenly directed during an Ecosia (not Google) search on Dr. Pimple Popper. Yes, Dr. Plastic Picker’s name was chosen trying to direct traffic from Dr. Pimple Popper. She picks zits under sterile technique. I pick ocean bound plastic using old bread bags as gloves. We are all doing a service.

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November 23, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Sea turtle in crayon by my patient Adeleine, aged 8. Posted with family’s permission.

“The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World” was a poem written in the 1800s by American poet William Ross Wallace. Before it became a title of that god-awful scary misogynistic 1980s movie, it was a poem that glorified the power of motherhood. The second stanza,

Infancy’s the tender fountain,
    Power may with beauty flow,
Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
    From them souls unresting grow —
Grow on for the good or evil,
    Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.
– William Ross Wallace

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November 19, 2019

by drplasticpicker

The most adventurous vegetable. Bitter Melon (bitter melon 1/2 cup, 1.3 g of fiber) from drplasticpicker’s mother’s garden. Organic. Photo credit drplasticpicker

One of my patients who is now about 10 years old always amazed me. He had a set of loving parents who both worked quite a bit, and was cared for from birth to about 4 by both sets of grandparents. His grandmothers fed this child the way their family has been eating for generations, and I watched them mold an amazing human-being and also an amazing vegetable-eating. I would argue that the two are correlated! This young boy ate bittermelon as a toddler, and still eats it to this day! It has taken me 40 years to be able to eat this very healthy, yet very bitter gourd vegetable (bitter melon 1/2 cup, 1.3 g of fiber).

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November 16, 2019

by drplasticpicker

Two sea turtles surrounded by fruit. Chalk drawing by pediatric patient, photo taken with permission. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

Drplasticpicker, the blog and the persona, has helped me tremendously. If the blog stopped here with my 40 odd posts, 70 bags of ocean bound plastic picked up, almost 400 items salvaged, and $500 donated to environmental causes – than it will have been an endeavor well worth my efforts https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/ .

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November 9, 2019

by drplasticpicker

The footsteps of my friend’s 8-year-old son. Forging his own path on the beach during our recent beach cleaning.

It is day 72 of this ocean plastic picking journey, and I continue to find great joy and meaning in this new endeavor. As of today, I have picked up 65 bags of trash and salvaged 338 items. Yesteday, I was not able to reach the ocean because I had a full Friday clinic and things always run late, and with daylight savings by the time I got home at 615pm it was already pitch dark.

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October 27, 2019

by drplasticpicker

I am lucky to be part of a fun office with like-minded pediatricians, nurses and back-office support staff. We work together. Share meals together. Celebrate birthdays and each others’ big milestones. Drplasticpicker’s office friends wanted to do an ocean beach cleanup in order to bond and help the earth together! I am excited about posting the results of our group clean-up which will be next weekend.

In this blog post, I will describe the 10 steps it took to organize the office beach clean up.

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