Pediatric Advice (Tongue-in-Cheek) – Remember Ask Your Own Doctor! – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Pediatric Advice (Tongue-in-Cheek) – Remember Ask Your Own Doctor!

My few qualifications for giving advice is that my kids are happy. I found these post-its in our daughter’s room. She drew them for herself.

July 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I saw a set of siblings 4 and 5 years of age yesterday for their physicals and one set of vaccines, and mother expressed the same frustration that many parents are having. “How do I keep the kids brain developing?” Many parents are in the same position. School is moving on-line, and on-line school is supoptimal for the development of a 4-6 year olds. Many parents ask me for advice, and I am a doctor and not a teacher. I always direct parents to teachers and educators. But I understand, they trust me. I have made a lot of mistakes raising and still raising my children. But our teen and tween children are healthy, inquisitive people and generally considered good students. Most importantly they are happy and they have what I think most of my patients consider really good brains. So here are some suggestions from your pediatrician who is NOT A TEACHER. Are your children 3-6 years of age? How do you keep them stimulated?

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Beans that were in our pantry.

June 12, 2020

by drplasticpicker

One of the proudest professional moments of my life was during the year I was chief resident, the pediatric senior class at Man’s Greatest Hospital had a 100% pass rate on the pediatric boards. It never made sense to me that the hallowed institution that I trained at did not have 100% pass rate. Indeed the occupants of the chief residency position were known to make markedly less than 100%. But the year I was Chief Resident, the senior class had a 100% pass rate and I passed well over a few standard deviations as well. This was in large part because I had to delay my boards because I had a baby during Junior Year and made up some rotations. I took my exam with the senior class which was below me. So I studied with them. While I had more time and was studying and completed four years worth of PREP questions sitting in the the chief residency office, I created Pediatric Board Review power points from my notes. When there was any empty lecture time during Morning or Noon conference when the lecturing attending showed up late or the admitting team was stuck on the floor, I had multiple power points ready to go. I am proud of the legacy of that 100% pass rate.

But can you believe that in the entire 2015-2019 AAP Prep Questions there is only 1 question about iron deficiency anemia? This is the most common issue we encounter as general outpatient pediatricians and there is one question! Well this former Chief Resident and current Assistant Boss and now eco-warrior Dr. Plastic Picker is going will rectify this situation.

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Chia Seed/Oatmeal Pudding. Low sugar and can be a breakfast! Cooking and photo credit by Daughter Plastic Picker (age 12).

May 21, 2020

by drplasticpicker (with daughter Plastic Picker’s help)

Parents are cooking more meals for their children during COVID-19 quarantine. We have continued to do well child visits for kids that require vaccines, and several parents in my practice asked me for breakfast ideas. I think the combination of more inactivity due to quarantine and more screen time, has worsened the pediatric constipation crisis and widenened the pediatric fiber deficit. In addition, when we are scared to browse through the grocery store – I think parents are falling back on more processed foods and that as you know leads to Taste-Bud Dysfunction https://drplasticpicker.com/taste-bud-dysfunction-lets-dial-down-the-salt-and-sugar-in-snacks/.

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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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Snorlax makes another blog appearance!

April 14, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This is definitely one of those topics that Dr. Plastic Picker is a much better pediatrician now than I was at the beginning of my career. It helps that I myself have gone through puberty, completed a clinical year of pediatric endocrinology, and am semi-successfully guiding my own two children through this process.

This can be both a stressful and wonderful time in life. There is a sense of loss for the littleness of your children. I had this profound sense of loss because I worked so much when they were little. I miss the warmth of those young bodies snuggling up to me at night. The promise of that time would often get me through the long overnight calls or urgent care shifts. Our daughter had a profound sense of loss as well. When her body began changing she said that she did not want to grow up. Our son was very nonchalant about the whole thing, which is true to his easy going personality.

But as I tell my children and my patients, puberty is a wonderful thing because it means the body is working! It means that your hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is functioning as it should and you’ve reached this milestone. If you didn’t go through puberty by a certain time, it would be a medical problem. I would have to start getting blood work, radiographs and maybe MRI your brain. As a pediatrician, I am aware of the dangers of being little as well. You are more susceptible to diseases which is why there are more vaccines when you are young. Little children can’t physically protect themselves as well. So I look at puberty, as a wonderful time that children are gaining bodily strength. They are developing themselves to be adult people. Because in the end the purpose of raising children and protected them while they are young is to get adults, and then they can protect and fend for themselves. And now my own teenagers can get things I need from the upper shelves that I can’t reach! Score!

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This is a picture of Mylar baloons in the desert from one of our Dr. Plastic Picker friends. Does the heat aleve or exacerbate eczema? How should you bathe your atopic child when the weather changes?

March 29, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Today the politicians are again arguing about who is to blame for the skyrocketing COVID-19 cases. But in California, there is a glimmer of hope. We began mandatory quaratining relatively early, and in our community our local leaders have been working together across the aisle to help our homeless communities and provide rent relief to our population. Beaches are closed and our local friends the Police were driving calmly up and down the beach telling our relaxed San Diegans to disperse. I was born and raised in San Diego, and I have a great love for my homeworld (Star Trek reference). In this increasingly polarized world, there is still a sense of civic responsibility and engagement in my hometown. I am hoping this helps us #flattenthecurve. Looking at the prediction models, it looks like we will likely have enough ICU beds for our county. So I am still vigilant but hopeful. I wrote yestserday that the best way I can help, is by doing the job I am qualified to do – a general outpatient pediatrician who middle-manages a department and is responsible for a few actual outpatient clinics https://drplasticpicker.com/be-like-a-tree-during-the-covid-19-cytokine-storm/.

So in that vein, I will be an outpatient pediatrician and give general advice about eczema! This is such a common problem and I hope this gives you some relief since we are trying to keep these “minor” issues at home. But minor issues are important to deal with as well.

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Useless shelf. They put it right up in front.

March 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging. The silver lining is Harvey Weinstein and Paul Rand have coronavirus. I don’t wish ill will on anyone, but I hope they have to wait in line at their local ED. I took a vacation day prior to knowing the pandemic was going to happen, as the kids originally had the day off school. The kids are home due to school closures, and I decided to just roll with life and keep my day off. I return to work tomorrow.

But rather than wasting energy and ranting at the poor decisions being made at various central government level or becoming unreasonably upset when I see former premed students on Facebook at weddings when they are doctors and supposed to model #socialdistancing and #flatteningthecurve, I will instead focus on things that are in my realm of control. I will today write about 5 things you should not waste money on.

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I did order the subscription! We are now loyal customers!

March 9, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I promise that I am usually very detailed oriented. If you ask me about how many appointments are needed on any particular day in our department, I can give that to you. If you ask me what my networth is, I can tell you that to the thousands place. I usually know the 30-year versus the 15-year-fixed-interest rate for mortgages on any given week, even if I am not actively looking to purchase or sell real estate. Don’t ask me the adjustable because that would just be silly. Or ask me the Na concentration of any common resuscitation fluid, I can tell the mg/L concentration and if there is Potassium in it. That is because Dr. Young-Ho Yoon used to drill that into me when I was his intern at Man’s Greatest Hospital https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-young-ho-yoon-pediatrian-and-environmentalist-1/. As you know, Dr. Plastic Picker is a fiscally responsible pediatrician and I advocate for everyone to be FISE: Financially Independent so they can Save the Earth https://drplasticpicker.com/fise-financial-indepedence-and-save-the-earth/.

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Girl Scout Cookies. The greatest irony is that Girl Scouts are selling them, but if they eat too many (due to high glycemic index) it will make their acne worse. Dr. Plastic Picker is also our Co-Troop Cookie Troop Manager with Mom-friend Usa.

February 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I saw one of my long-time teenage patients recently. Her little sibling had a follow-up appointment and she was just with her family that day. Outside the clinic walls, I exercise my social awareness and skills and do not just blurt out comments. But when I enter our building and I put on my HMO badge, I am YOUR PEDIATRICIAN. I take my role seriously. I even wrote in my HMO on-line bio ten years ago.

There is no greater honor than being the doctor for your child. I take that role seriously and try to provide you with sound advice and guidance based on the latest medical research, along with common sense. I believe we function as a team (family, teachers, and doctors) to make sure our children grow into productive, contributing, and healthy members of society. I believe in fully vaccinating your children and the power of prevention.”

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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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