It’s True. Our Family is Mostly Introverts. Or is it that I’m Your Spiritual Guide, at some point will POOF – disappear.
February 21, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
Self-awareness is so key. I mean true self-awareness, the deep kind that takes a lot of work and quiet. I was talking to a long-time patient-family that is facing difficult medical futures for their children. It’s the typical story these days, the kids are young and already on the road to severe metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver. We are considering gastric-bypass at the youngest age possible.
As a general pediatrician who cares for families, my role is sometimes to be a spiritual guide. I lead them onto the route through the medical system that they are meant to go through and to give spiritual warnings that another path is fraught with danger and likey despair. Spiritual guides can’t be there everytime, but I can pop up when it’s time or when the family seeks me.
I’ve been rethinking my role in my (our for those of us who actually know eachother) department and the world. And in the end, this is the role I think I’m meant to play for now. I’m here. I’m so here for my patients and my department, but I don’t seek to be a ruler in this earthly materialistic world. This earthly world is actually filled with pain and conflict, and has inflicted hurt on all of us. But there is a true path to healing, in knowing ourselves and the interconnectness with our planet at a spiritual and I would say microbial level. That’s the only way path toward healing.
And so with this patient and family, I talked about self-awareness and what brings them joy. Some of the cycle of self-hatred and body judgement has played a role in childhood obesity. The constant thought that we can control the amount of calories in and calories out. The short-sighed thought that any single number (BMI, cholesterol level, blood pressure, pant-size, waist circumference) can tell one if one is healthy or not. This has played an outsized role in the lie that we tell children and families. None of us have the answer to childhood obesity. Case in point that I would even consider guiding this family on the path toward gastric bypass. I am considering it, but it shows you how broken this entire system is. We cannot surgerize an entire generation of children.
But looking at the world at the microbial level and at the single piece of plastic level, when I see that Go-Go Squeezie top at the beach – that is when it all made sense to me. It seemed so ridicuous when I realized how the world had gotten to where we are. That we swapped a perfectly good apple for Go-Go Squeezes that were less nutritious, less fiber, more expensive and encased in plastic. That’s what we’ve done in our world. And it’s the children that have suffered the most. And when I saw that ridiculousness at the beach while I was getting some fresh early morning air and exercise, I laughed. I laughed at how ridiculous it all was and as my body healed and I slept better and began just eating more real whole vegetables and composting, I realize that my answer to the childhood obesity epidemic is to lead the families I care for on the same path. See how ridiculous it all is. The system has pushed us to where we are, and it is absolutely not anyone’s fault. And then laugh and get some fresh air, and you’ll take that first step onto the path of true healing.
The title of this blog doesn’t have much to do with the content, does it? But that’s how I feel in the morning. I have had such a lovely weekend just being by myself. I went to the beach on Saturday and picked up three glorious bags, and on Sunday went on a quiet plogging walk with my daughter. And I know I’m an introvert. I love climate work and I’m animated and strong when I advocate. But then I need time by myself with my plants and composter, and then I build back my strength. Our entire family is like this.
I’m strong now and I can be your spiritual guide. But at some point when I think it’s time to retreat to our truffle farm, I’m going to POOF. Disappear and just take down this blog, and just read the posts for myself. Because it was never about me in the first place, it was about the crazy amount of plastic out there!
Happy Holiday Monday everyone! Signing off to send some climate emails, your local crazy litter-picking bird-watching pediatrician!