Uncategorized – Dr. Plastic Picker

Category: Uncategorized

A positive relationship with food.

January 24, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

I had started two blogposts yesterday, but deleted them. They each started with two different images, and were actually almost complete blogpost. But after I had put my thoughts on the screen in semi-coherent fashion, they lost their power and the self-centeredness of the posts were not the right tone for this blog. The narcissistic tones emanating from Dr. Plastic Picker (me) didn’t sit well. So I got those thoughts out, and I then deleted them. Blogging never seems entirely right to me unless it’s that morning time to myself. It’s 5:53 AM and I’m about to make my matcha green tea with organic soy milk, and this is the blogger me that I want to present to you. The early morning quiet is always a better space for writing, especially having had a good nights sleep.

I had taken Monday off as a vacation day, since it was one of those odd Professional Development Days for the kids’ school. I had a long weekend then, and the weekend never ends up being what I expect. It was wonderful nonetheless, because I am very present for those precious moments with our two teens. We were all together, the entire family as the teen children are progressing in their maturation. And it was that, painful growing up through the weekend. Teenage moodiness. Slammed doors. Warm hugs and reconciliation. College interviews and shared worries. Trying to plan for a college future, that we don’t know where our oldest will be. Georgetown, U Penn, Harvard and Cornell – all names that were floating around this weekend. For the other, dreams of Yale, memories of Harvard, and wistful thoughts of as yet unknown cute boy that will one day appreciate how awesome a certain volleyball cutie is going to be. Mr. Plastic Picker and I holding each other tight, as same volleyball cutie storms through another 14-yo emotional maelstrom. And then the beauty of what emerges, two teens and a set of parents every day growing wiser and closer as we spend time together and noticing each other. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend.

It was also an epic climate work weekend, which I did not intend. I had scheduled already an HMO meeting where I was the one who connected our physician wellness director with San Diego Audubon Society. And we have an amazing collaboration that will be announced by others, and media will be there because I stay connected with everyone who loves the earth. And in the end of the day, physicians will be better and the least tern species that nest in our local wetlands will be better due to this shared event. Two other events are in the works and a journal article that will highlight this collaboration has been started, and one of our premedical interns will be helping to organize the writing.

It’s 6:24AM and my matcha green tea with soy milk is half way done. The volleyball cutie is downstairs now and I have to start my mommy duties and doctor duties soon. Much love to the readers of this blog. Thank you for listening and thank you for caring for children and the climate.

Our two bunnies, Bella just passed away.

January 8, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

I remember when we adopted our two bunnies six years ago, they were a bonded pair. They were bonded at about 2 years of age, and stayed bonded until Bella just recently passed away a few weeks ago. We are worried about Peter, the boy bunny, as he is slower than before. Bella’s passing was unexpected as we thought she would be with us until our youngest graduated high school in about three years time.

I don’t have many regrets in life, as I think our paths are meant to be. I don’t ever think you meet the wrong person, and the universe has someone destined for you. And Peter and Bella were destined for each other.

One of my few regrets in life is that we never officially had the bunny wedding we were planning when we first adopted our bunnies. I was then, and am still now, a fairly traditional person. I believe you should love who you love, and I believe in marriage equality but I believe in marriage. And my one regret is that we never gave Bella and Peter, the spring bunny wedding – I always wanted to organize!

RIP beautiful spunky Bella. I didn’t have time to make sure you were a beautiful bunny bride. We are taking care of Peter though, and we did take him to the vet to make sure he was okay.

Posted on one of the social media sites.

January 5, 2023

by Dr. Plastic Picker

The entire thing is beautiful. The UCSD premedical students involved. The collaboration with other states and climate and health advocates, now Oregon and Missouri and New York. Reaching out has been so powerful. Reaching out on a shared project that has been meaningful, has been an exercise in building community. Connecting premedical students and future physicians throughout the country, and re-energizing exhausted pediatricians deep in the weeds of climate work, has been partly my goal in this project. I always tell everyone, I 100% don’t know the answer to solving the climate crisis – but I know the answer includes you.

And that you – included the children that we are doing this for. In the end the title of child advocate is special. And as a pediatrician, we have the preservation of life as we know it on earth for our children and grandchildren as our goal.

Just typing away my thoughts here so I can sort through them, and move through the projects. Our leaded aviation paper was accepted through the Journal of Community Health. I am so proud of our team, but in particular Riley Gilbertson our premedical student. He’s been accepted to several very good medical schools, and I’m so proud of him. And the fossil fuel divestment paper is about to be submitted one last time to Pediatrics, and it is so good. So very well written. I am proud to have added a few key sentences and ideas to the writing of that paper.

I’m still having silly thoughts of our family’s pseudo kdrama. But I know they are silly, and I’m tucking them away. But when a climate advocate begins to dream of her future grandchildren in the many possibilities of what they will be, than you know there is hope. Hope through action. Hope through community. Hope through taking at least one action every day on behalf of the earth.

Plastic trashart from a food gift container that was delicious that I wanted to reuse.

December 31, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

I want to ask forgiveness if you’ve been touched by my silliness or if you think I’ve taken up your time unnecessarily in 2022! I truly do. I think I had too much time on my hands after stepping down from Assistant Boss, or perhaps it was the euphoria of escaping those middle-management meetings. I tend to try to create my own reality and my own fun, and I may have taken up your time with half-baked dreams or unfinished projects. I am ever the imperfect Dr. Plastic Picker, your imperfect pediatrician. And that is all. For those that I need to ask for forgiveness, I am asking for it now.

And onward my friends! Onward to meeting new people, developing different kinds of relationships with those that we know. Onward to finishing those projects that we started, and realizing those that we started that aren’t progressing – probably can be abandoned. Onward to healing ourselves and the earth, and advocating for our planet. Onward to joy. Onward to the you and the me and the world that is meant to be.

Rally screenshots from EHC’s video

December 14, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

It’s done. This is what I wrote on my personal facebook page which kind of blurs into my eco-avatar self. “We did it. Successful rally at the Port of San Diego representing health care voices as to why a cement plant with 10k diesel trucks trips per month in and out of barrio Logan is a bad idea for the children of Barrio Logan and neighboring National City. Spoke at the port commissioner meeting. It was an inspiring coalition of health care workers, environmental organizations, school board, faith groups especially the Catholic Church. It was honestly a few weeks of effort and winding down and exhausted emotionally. Made KUSI, ABC and Fox News. Our premed intern who is fluent in Spanish made Telemundo. Lots of new climate friends. Mitsubishi will be back and hopefully with a better plan than the polluting one they have now. Felt like I did my part today for the earth and for kids health.”

It was an invigorating day. It was a joyous day. It was a day filled with meeting new and old climate friends. It was kind of surreal because on one side of the Port of San Diego conference room were the black suits. They were the corporate Mitsubishi people. And I was on the other side with my white coat, on the side of the people and the rabble-rousers. Little did I know that – that is the side I prefer. I made my comments at the rally and at the Port of San Diego and they were reasonable health care voice comments. I made good eye contact with the commissioners and spoke my truth, to remind them that we are actually reasonable community members who are San Diegans. I also got to tell them I went to Harvard and grew up in Chula Vista, and said “Go Barrons!” I told them I spoke about this proposed plant at MGH/Harvard, and made a non sequitur about Dr. Ron Kleinman asking me to return to Harvard, and I replied “No, I’ll stay in San Diego.” It’s somewhat true (yes he did say that!) but somewhat contrived, because I wanted to balance out the anger. I wanted to make them understand that I am a different group and am supporting the mission of the Environmental Health Coalition and to underscore how big the community support and alliance is for Barrio Logan.

I’m still processing everything that happened, but I realize that I’m allowed to rest. We have only a few weeks until Christmas and two days until our kids finish school for break. So I finished having a nice breakfast with our daughter and I’ll sign off and send some Christmas cards. So many of the climate friends I know , I actually know just in the virtual space. Maybe that’s for the best. I don’t think I actually know 75 people’s addresses?

With @heylaisha our premed intern at the San Diego asthma meeting.

December 13, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

Okay I’m up. I’m up!!! I’ve been dreaming about this presentation all night. I’ve given longer versions to two MD groups. But this afternoon is the actual rally at the Port of San Diego, and I have 3 minute. Just 3 minutes. But it has to be good so I can’t just do an impromptu version. I’m going to write out my comments.

I have many patients who live in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights. And this is really for all the children of San Diego because the Mitsubishi Cement Plant would increase in general green house gas emissions. Just reading about it I just learned ” About 60% of the cement industry’s total carbon dioxide emissions in California are from heating limestone in the kiln; the other 40% is from fuel combustion and electricity use, according to the Global Efficiency Intelligence report.

Most of the fuels used in the cement manufacturing process, such as natural gas, coal and petroleum coke, emit planet-warming gases. Unlike other industries, the cement industry cannot rely on most renewable energy sources to power its operations due to the extremely high temperatures that are needed for production. That’s part of the reason why the industry is making the switch to alternative fuels that consist of recycled waste products.” https://calmatters.org/environment/2022/06/california-cement-carbon-climate/

The idea of growth and production is complicated. Cement is deemed necessary to grow, but I’ll leave the discussion about unmanaged growth for another day. I really need to just concentrate on the children of Barrio Logan and asthma. It’s not fair that this factory is slated for this Environmental Justice neighborhood. We don’t need to bear the environmental cost in this neighborhood that has suffered so much.

At some point, you have to take a stance. You have to say enough is enough. So today is the day our group San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air speaks up and joins multiple groups lead by SanDiego350.org and Environmental Health Coalition to speak up for this neighborhood.

So I’m going to speak up today about the dangers of diesel trucks and what it would mean for this neighborhood as the pediatrician of Ollin, Metzli, Junior and Isabella. I’m going to speak for their respiratory health and the health of their community. And I’m going to do it with the spiritual backing of a few hundred doctors that I’ve told them I’m doing this, and they are supporting me spiritually. We spoke about this advocacy project yesterday at the San Diego monthly asthma meeting and I spoke about it at the regional asthma meeting. The allergist, the pediatricians, the internist, and the family medicine doctor friends all told me – go, go, GO!!! And here I go!

Bought the premium limit login attempt apps a few months ago.

November 6, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

Begone you hackers!!! Not sure why you are trying to hack my site. This site is free entertainment for my patients and friends, and curious internet denizens, to try to save the earth! I’ve been offered money for my site but I REFUSED. I could advertise on this site, but I REFUSED. And I now REFUSE your attempts to hack my site because what I do here is important to me personally and to the world. I’m sure you need oxygen to breathe and trees to shade you. You likely don’t want to live on a Vulcan-like world!!! So if you are actually a thinking person you should back off!

But I know you are likely just an algorithm. So I bought the limited login attempt upgraded version almost 5 months ago but I’ve been so busy, I didn’t have the mental space to try to get it onto the blog. But after having to delete at least 20 messages from the site about more hackers, I DID IT!!! I DID IT THIS MORNING. And now I won’t have to see those annoying messages!

And now looking at the site there were over sometimes a million hacking attempts a day! Geez! They should just try to pick up trash instead!!!

Origin of the hacks

And that is it. Just proud of myself for taking time to protect something that means a lot to me. I protected the site!

Real platform for the treehouse done that is on the Oregon tree farm.

October 17, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

Blogging helps me organize my thoughts. I’m in the midst of editing and co-creating a power point to present to the HMO Chiefs. It’s an interesting group and we’ve gotten conflicting advice about what to talk about. I was struggling with the presentation last night, and then decided to set things aside at about 830pm. We are up in our Oregon tree farm, and it gets gloriously dark very early. The last load of laundry was in the dryer as we are getting ready to leave for the next day (which is today), and I turned off the lights and looked at a few pictures of my children and fell asleep.

I sleep blissfully these days, mostly dreaming about a real-life kdrama. But those details are precious and the ending will be over a decade in the making. But I sleep truly the sleep of someone who lives a joyous and purposeful life.

These last few days up here have been wondrous. I did so many things that I had not done in a long time, or have never done. I laughed and chatted, and was just my real self with my family members here. We came here to work, but in between found adventures. We visited a lighthouse that was closed, but wandered around the sand dune trails flanked my tall grasses. That short trail led to a long stone pier that led into the Pacific Ocean. Seagulls were flying above braving the strong winds, and the waves crashing on the stone piers were powerful and exciting. We visited cute gift shops and said hello to shopkeepers. I bought unique quality gifts for several children that I love, including mine. I tasted an interesting piece of fudge that looked like chedder cheese, and it’s the top selling item in that gift shop. I looked out at rock formations that are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

We also did a lot of work on the farm. A family member was making custom cutting boards from the wood from our forest (we technically own it but it belongs to the collective us really). I rode the ATV, and then drove the ATV. I mowed a few acres of pastureland in a John Deere, while another family member was doing the heavy lifting was a monstrous tractor that we bought. We own a small sawmill now, and how cool is that? Probably one of the moments I will most remember is driving with another family member to where the tree house platform resides that sides on the most northern edge of the pastureland. I had seen pictures of the tree house platform but had not been there. We climbed up and gazed down at the farm, with the Umpqua National Forest behind us. Our land abuts national forest. And I imagined what the tree house will eventually look it. The plan is a 250 SF tree hose with a loft bedroom to sleep. Even now one can have a pretty nice picnic on the platform.

With all those memories, I am ready. I am ready to dive into the presentation I have been putting off. It’s an important presentation to bend the arc toward a sustainable future. So I need to give it the time it deserves, since nature has given me so much.

A lifetime ago, Park City.

September 27, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

It was happening while I was watching K-dramas. It was happening while I was trying to shift in a more comfortable position due to some minor back aches. The last volleyball tournament I had sat down for a while, and my back has been bothering me since. I likely need to do more yoga. I know how to listen to my body and I know I’ll be okay.

This morning with some minor back aches, I’m sad. I’m sad because I’m missing my nephew and niece who are in Florida. They are military kids and their family achieved a big professional milestone that is important for them and the country. But I’m their aunt and they are my sister’s children and I just miss them.

I know it was a big day for them with lots of people throughout the country who came in to see them. There are a lot of people who love and care for them. But I wonder if they really know how much I love them? I love them so much since they were little babies. It’s different for me because I’m close with my sister, and the way we raise our children is similar. We were raised by the same mother.

We couldn’t be there and honestly I think it would have been exhausting to fly over there to see them during this very very busy time in their lives. But I’m missing them and I want to be there in the early morning soon, watching them wake up and drinking a Florida version of my matcha green tea soy latte. I want to notice what pajamas they are wearing. I want to see the busyness of their lives as my sister rushes off to drop them off and pick them off for their various activities. I want to see them have dinner and see what kind of cups they are drinking water out of. I want to be able to pick a different mug every morning when I have a different matcha green tea soy latte from my sister’s always organized kitchen.

It’s really hard on military kids, but it’s really hard on their aunt as well. I’ve missed so much of their lives because they have lived far away, and I’m a working mother too. Just letting myself be sad today because some pictures popped up on facebook. I’ll be there soon and I’ll bring their cousins, and we’ll hang out in Florida.

Faculty sponsor for an application

September 25, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

It’s 759am and we just returned from gathering 5 bags of pollution from the ocean’s edge. I sat with my daughter after a very pleasant walk from our house to the beach, where I recounted some of my silly dreams to her. It’s was a very nice walk and we helped the earth and had a nice morning. We are having breakfast now as I’m typing away some quick thoughts.

Due to various reasons I’m not in Florida watching my brother-in-law reach a professional and personal milestone. It seemed safer to stay in San Diego and not risk the other guests getting COVID. I don’t have COVID but others in my family had COVID and because they were vaccinated and boosted and treated in time, they are doing okay. But there was the risk of spreading it to a lot of wonderful people, and honestly I had so much stuff to catch up on – I appreciated the time at home and being able to be here with my children. Case in point, I would not have gotten to go on this morning’s walk if I had gone to Florida.

So today will be a quiet day, but I’ll make sure to make time for the various students that I’ve somehow found and come under my sphere of influence. The above is probably the most impactful right now. One of the third year UCSD medical students is applying to be an editorial fellow for an AMA Bioethics magazine and is looking for my guidance. I agreed to be the faculty advisor/sponsor and help in whatever capacity they needed me, as the proposed focus is going to be bioethics surrounding Environmental Justice work.

Then yesterday I had a premedical advising call with one of our advocacy interns at UC Berkeley and it was very powerful to plan her medical school application. She’ll be incorporating work on waste reduction in her academic portfolio, and we have a large HMO waste reduction project we want to do together. It’s very niche. It will save our HMO lots of money, provide an opportunity for her, and I just saved her personally hundreds of thousands of dollars of unnecessary debt from an unnecessary post-bac. Hopefully her premedical advocacy work will save the earth lots of unnecessary future trash as well!

And then another daughter of a close family friend and one of my patients is going to join in on our youth and art’s exhibition, but the poetry section. This will be just very close children in our family and friends, as I need to keep this contained and doable for my own children. I’m putting them to work for the earth, but need to balance with their other responsibilities.

And that is it. Just thinking of things I need to today and things I already did for the earth!