I love anyone who feeds me. I think this is true for everyone. Especially if you feed me home-made fancy waffles with Belgian sugar pearls (which I had never heard of before). The expresso had no sugar and no cream and it didn’t need it, because it had this lovely waffle to go with it.
I’m sitting at my kitchen table a bit later in the morning than usual. 7am. I have to drink my coffee first. I’m finally using the Starbucks Hiroshima Mug Nurse Lan gifted me years ago. I don’t know why, but I had saved it in it’s new packaging for several years. I’m not sure if I didn’t think I deserved to drink out of such a nice mug or that I wanted to use up the old ones. But at some point it seemed ridiculous especially since the house is so decluttered from our almost 2 year long minimalism streak, to not use something that was lovingly gifted to me. Also I have a Instagram friend FamilyThemes who always profiles their mugs, and it seemed to me we should enjoy not only the coffee that comes in the mug and the mug itself – which I think is her entire point.
Sending appropriate work emails is really exhausting. When you send an official work email that is some part of an official correction of workflow for the department, it has to be worded well. It has to have appropriate workflow departmental content. It has to be sent and endorsed by the right people. It needs to be written in a way that most should want to read. And then one has to forsee the nit-pickers and what they might say or reply, and try to avoid certain booby traps that the departmental nit-pickers or debbie downers will deploy. I had Dr. Dear Friend proofread my email yesterday and had read it to two different people before I sent it. It was better for the combined input. There is email silence since sending that work departmental official email, which is a good thing. Just one humorous reply of someone who likes to make me laugh.
What a horrendous day yesterday. I was expecting to have a Georgia Senate Election party, and had far-fetched dreams of making peach cobbler for desert. The senate still flipped but then there was an attempted coup in Washington. Seriously, as attempted coup by a bunch of idiots who were taking selfies. They were domestic terrorists which shows the world how stupid terrorists are. I came home after a normal morning clinic and having tried to deliver good care and actually to attend to departmental needs and concerns, and I expected to have a “We Flipped the Senate” party with Peach Cobbler in honor of Georgia. Instead I fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon watching live-stream CNN, as the newscasters just sounded like my Facebook Feed friends. I wonder if I can become a CNN analyst?
COVID-19 is surging in the great United States of America. Between seeing patients and talking on the phone with families and catching up with them, I realized the common thread to all of yesterday’s conservations is that we are all living in this grim historic moment of COVID-19 infections and deaths. In pediatrics, we expect to see the wave of MIS-C (Mulitsystem Inflammatory System in Children) soon that occurs in about 1 out of 6,000 pediatric COVID infections and earily presents like Kawasaki’s disease. Our other Assistant Boss whose name rhymes with bong sent out a reminder to update our order panels with the labs that we have to order. I will do it today after the Pediatric Infectious Disease lecture at 8am. I didn’t give away some of my evening after hour clinic shifts for the next two months, because I know I need to be in the trenches with everyone else. So I’ll have my order panel ready as well.
I had baked 4 potatoes and 2 sweet potatoes last night. The house was cold and Mr. Plastic Picker was bringing home some Rubios. We mostly try to cook at home but some days are harder than others, and when my tween daughter becomes irritated at me – I tend to give in and just order out. Over the holiday we only ordered out 3 times over two weeks. That is pretty good. Last night was one of those nights. Our kids are doing very well, and I’m inordinately proud of them. I do realize the irony of it all. I used to think I was pretty hot stuff when I was younger, Crimson University grad and all. Now in my mid 40s I was annoying my tween who is an ex-preemie, who literally was trying to read excerpts of her Ghandi book as I was watching a romance movie on Amazon Prime. Earlier in the evening she was annoyed at me because we went jogging together and I couldn’t keep up, and after about 12 minutes asked if I could walk and pick up trash and she could finish running (she runs cross country). And then the Girl Scout project that we’ve been organizing together, she spent a good amount of time organizing it for the troop and is going to present a beautiful program today. Whereas I just cut out some slides from my previous Climate Change and Clean Air talk to the UCSD PRIME HEq program, and recorded what I thought was a half-hearted talk on Pediatric Health and Clean Air.
I spent the last week decluttering the house. Well, not actually decluttering but rearranging and trying to find more space. It all started when my younger brother had a leather office chair almost new that he passed down to me, and a shoe rack. I showed the picture of the chair to the kids, and they both wanted the chair. So began, this round robin of shifting furniture and decluttering to find out where that chair fit into our lives.
The chair ended up in my room, because the back is a bit too extended for the kids’ comfort. For now with a large body pillow draped behind it, it’s the perfect ergonomic position for me. My chair ended up in my daughter’s room, as she had always liked my office chair. Then her chair ended up in the game room built-in office space, and that chair ended up back in our master bedroom where I was trying to create a reading nook/yoga space. Then I realized that the large fancy leather Costco Euro-Lounger in our bedroom reading area should go into the Game Room. The bunnies were permanently moved from the Game Room onto the adjacent balcony that has a weatherized hutch. They have a huge space out there, and I have no guilt about permanently moving the two thriving bunnies outside.
Congratulations to me!!! Almost 8,000 people know the name Dr. Plastic Picker and spent about 2 minutes on this blog scrolling through on average 5 blog post. Most of those were here looking for Star Trek Fan Fiction! LOL. The top outsider referrering webstie was retireby40, probably because his website is the only one I consistently read. It’s Joe, and I like Joe. I get some traffic from other FIRE blogs when I comment and read them. Again with this blog is quality over quantity, since we are non-monetized. The traffic is mostly from facebook which I honestly know are mostly my friends, families and patients.
To the financially confused or spiritually financially seeking internet. I really have no clue what people read on this blog. In general, there is a good amount of traffic. A lot of it seems to be directed to my Star Trek Fan Fiction post of Trip and T’Pol from the Star Trek Enterprise, and the other hot post is one I wrote about Living Will and Trusts.
As I have explained before, I trust very few people with my money. I trust myself. We have a family member as our accountant. We have a very good trust and estates attorney. Otherwise, I have been our household’s financial CFO since 2009. This coincided with both Mr. Plastic Picker and I having attending level jobs with attending level salaries. The combination of my taking over at CFO, and finally making MD attending incomes contributed to that year being the year we started growing our financial muscle. For us financial independence has never really been about retiring early, it has to do with intellectual and professional freedom.
It’s been a tough month. For the most part our family was able to find joy in being together and grateful to be in good health over the holidays. But the last few days with my arm sore from the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and being fatigued kind of wore me down more than I expected. But the bright side of things is that I’ve started picking up litter around the HMO parking lot, and there is so much litter that it’s very quick to fill a bag. It’s oddly satisfying as I don’t have to walk as far. This gives me more time at home to focus on other things. I’ve committed to picking up 20 bags a month, and this month I finished early and I’m really proud. I’m going to end the month totals today.
The news just keeps on getting better and better. The COVID-19 UK strain is in our area and was identified in a young 30 year old who did not travel. Maybe that is why it’s so bad in Southern California right now? The side effects of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are wearing off. I’m a pretty tough cookie and this is the first time in my life that I’ve had side effects. I take it to mean that the vaccine is working. My deltoid is still sore, still fatigied and a bit of a headache. I avoided the tylenol and motrin, and just drinking coffee at 530pm because I just woke up from a late afternoon nap and coffee cures everything right?
There is certainly hope now that the vaccine is being deployed to front-line workers, and plans to roll out more. But if this pandemic has taught me anything, is that no one knows nothing. We are in for a bumpy ride. A lot of people are sick, are stressed, are worried. They are sick and stressed about having COVID, about having had COVID, about where they are in line for the vaccine. Everyone is still worried, and it’s been 10 months of this worry and it is wearing on people. I just texted some friends just to check up on how they are doing. Everyone has a different dramatic tale unfolding in their lives.
I have to confess something. After I got my Moderna COVID-19 vaccine but while still wearing facemask and faceshield, I had to hold a baby in clinic to help the mother. The baby already had covid. I had to hold the baby because I was doing a procedure. But I can tell you, I held onto that baby for a few more seconds than I should have. That baby felt so good in my arms.
The light seems so far away right now. The darkness comes quickly now by 5pm. It’s cold even in Southern California. Although we need the rain, it’s damp and it’s seeping into our souls. There is hope as people on the front-lines are mentally preparing for their turn to get to the vaccine, but I can tell you as someone who got in 24hours before most people in our department – it is emotional. The months of suppressed emotion kind of bubbles up. Be ready for it. And be ready for the waning of the side effects and waning of the euphoria, and we are still in the middle of the pandemic facing the world that we share.
Just some thoughts at the end of the day that has been off for me due to being fatigued from the vaccine. Just some thoughts as I’m virtually sending hugs to some friends who are going through their tough times. At the least the HMO parking lot will be cleaner when this is all done.