Dr. Plastic Picker – Page 2 – A Personal Plastic-Picking Blog: Fighting Ocean Plastic Pollution One Piece At a Time
 
I’m really proud I graduated!

July 28, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I graduated today. Truly graduated from the Climate Reality Leaderhip Corp. The program wanted to virtually issue me my certificate on Sunday, but I wanted to finish the last two modules/projects before I claimed the certificate. It was a very important exercise to me, and I’m glad I did it. The funny thing is that this short project, which I call my “thesis,” is probably a million times more impactful than my actual senior thesis on cleft palate and degeneracy theory in college. I spent one entire year working on that one, which probably only 5 people ever really read. So here is the long more illustrative title, “Climate Change Affects My Patients: More premature births, more pediatric asthma, and more COVID-19 deaths especially of my patient’s parents and their grandparents causing more grief, despair and health inequities in already overburdened communities of color in the South Bay of San Diego.”

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They taste pretty good! More like vegan breakfast cookies.

July 27, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We have HMO Family Practice residents that rotate through our clinic for their outpatient pediatric rotations. It’s their inauguration into the residency program, and we have the honor to teach them. I helped start this clinic site when it started with the first class about 8 years ago. My old mentor and I were the ones who developed and refined the lecture topics, schedule templates, developed how the rotation was organized and first started the residency breakfasts. As with most things, I’ve since handed it over to Dr. AF as I’ve moved onto other middle management roles.

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Injured butterfly I saw yesterday. I think the little guy made it.

July 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

There are a lot of environmental advocacy groups out there. Now we started another one, our American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Climate Change and Health Committee for our local chapter. There was a California bill AB 345 the oil and gas setbacks bill. Between the AAP Climate Change and Health coalition of all 4 California chapters, Climate Health NOW (which overlaps with many AAP Climate Change members), PHAC and Climate Action Campagins, and Climate Reality Leadership Group and my just being on the litter-picking Instagram committee – I literally received 20 emails about this. I had already signed a personal letter, and had already sent it to our committee. Our AAP Climate Change and Health local chapter already endorsed it. Bruce Bekkar is writing a letter on behalf of PHAC Climate Action Campaigns. And now we need individual members to lobby specific state representatives about it. And during our Climate Reality Training first local meeting, it came up again. And I get it, this one is important. The elephant in the room is climate emmissions, and this helps reduce emissions. There are a lot of climate groups and a lot of concerned citizens, and we all want the same thing.

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Making dinner together, part of their Korean language lessons was to make Bi Bim Bap.

July 25, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I had heard about GRIT here and there. Mr. Plastic Picker and I send our kids to a fancy prep school. Mr. Plastic Picker had been a scholarship recipient from the top prep school in his area that was a feeder into Princeton, and he loved his experience. When we had our two children, it was one of those non-neogtiable things. He wanted our children to go to a similar independent school. As two MDs, we could afford it. As a product of a strong suburban public school program, it has always felt odd to have my kids in private school. They have done well though and more importantly they have strong connections in their school community, so we have committed to having them finish their education there. If you asked me to total the costs, I think I’d have a heart attack. But we can afford it because we still have a savings rate of over 50% our net income and we both work. Private school is our one indulgence and I actually try to dissuade other parents from it.

As a parent I’ve heard of the idea of Grit around the internet and school emails. Honestly, I just ignored those emails and discussions. It seemed to me the only people who talked about Grit were not living very hard-working lives. But then this morning I visited Retireby40’s blog, and he reposted an article about his Grit score and I was intrigued. https://retireby40.org/what-if-you-have-no-grit/ I took the test, I got a 5 out of 5! I am not surprised. I have a lot of Grit, as do most of my siblings.

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Isn’t that a beautiful bird? It’s from somewhere in our house. I never noticed it before.

July 24, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I have been busy this week completing the on-line virtual Climate Reality Training. It’s been a big committment especially since I am working full time. Every evening I have had 1-2 hours of additional lecture or on-line work. But I have done it with joy. This is the last weekend and I feel accomplished that I will fulfill the requirements.

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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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Screenshot of this great quote, from “Story of Stuff Project.” Great account to follow for inspiration.

July 22, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s funny how one can read quotes and understand them conceptually, but until you experience that stage of destruction and growth than that is when you understand it viscerally. From great hardship and tragedy can come tremendous growth. What I wanted to add today, is that what enables one to grow and recover and be reimagined is connections, community, bonds and relationships with the other living lifeforms around us. There is a resiliency in being connected.

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The beginning.

July 21, 2020

by drplasticpicker

When I first met my environmental mentor Dr. Bruce Bekkar, we met at True Foods in Fashion Valley. I met him with Dr. Dave Niesen who is a young ED physician and in charge of wildfire responses. It was the retired ob-gyn climate activisit founding member of Surfrider, the young blond ED physician wildfire expert, and me – middle aged litter picking pediatrician and self proclaimed Dr. Plastic Picker. It was at a vegan restaurant and at that point I was not #tryingvegan. We met in one of those surreal moments ala Matrix, where Bruce Bekkar looked at us younger physicians. Bruce had given ground rounds 10 years ago at our HMO on climate change, and the profound lack of interest among the physicians was profound. And now here we were, two younger physicians from complete opposite ends of the healthcare organization had separately found him. He looked at us across the table and said, “I’ve been waiting for you two for 10 years.” And this is when this group of concerned climate activists was formed to try to move health care organizations within our region to a more sustainable model. But one of the most powerful memories I had during this vegan meal at this vegan restaurant with these two already vegan physicians, was how non-judmental their veganism was. They recommended a certain tofu broth dish. I was intrigued. I ate it, and mostly it was the conversation that I came for. We were planning, and dreaming and discussing the climate. But I left with a normal sized restaurant bill, a sense of wellness and I felt light but also full – if that makes sense.

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An Instagram friend posted pictures of Queen Anne’s Lace. Brings back memories of reading Anne of Green Gables. I never knew what it looked like.

July 20, 2020

by drplasticpicker

My right foot has been hurting. It’s probably plantar fascititis one of the most common causes of foot pain. I started jogging a bit more before my plastic picking sessions and overall I think it’s good for my health. I’m doing more stretches to ease the strain on the fascia. My foot pain has been bothering me on and off for a few weeks now, and it’s part of the reason why my health took a turn for the worse about a year ago. I don’t talk about it much. Many of us who are healers, mothers, and nurturers – we need to take care of our SELF. But we are often drowned out by this noisy world.

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CMEs, CMEs, CMEs.

July 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

FISE stands for Financially Independent to Save the Earth. This is my lofty goal for the world. I believe most physicians, especially pediatricians, care for our earth. But physicians in general are not well known to be good at money management. If I can help my colleagues save some money here or there and more importantly save their time and their well being, than I have hope they will go out into the world and help the earth and help our society. I imagine them all leading Scouting groups on beach cleaning outings. If they have extra cash from being FISE, they can opt out of the Louis Vutton bag ($1000) and instead save 2,000 acres of Peruvian rainforest ($2000) or plant 20,000 trees ($1000).

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