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Showing posts from September, 2014

Busting the "Hidden Curriculum"

The medical school at my hospital is now offering a structured Wellness Lecture Series for the first and second year students during their lunchtime break, and I was proud to be a part of it last week. I was the first presenter this year with my Heal Thyself talk. It was an honor to share with them my personal experiences in wellness and stress management, and I hope to continue doing it ever year!

The planned lectures to follow include more detailed information about some of the things I discuss in my talk, namely nutrition, exercise, mindfulness practices, etc. So it seemed perfect that my lecture started things out this year! I'm curious what detailed advice the other experts will be providing.

I also recently hosted some female junior medical students at my home for a potluck, and I asked them what kinds of information they would like to see in the Wellness Series. They said that they wanted concrete examples and details of how to take care of themselves. I found this questio…

Taking Time to Enjoy the Raspberries

(My hand, my raspberries)
We have a couple of raspberry bushes in our yard, and our neighbor has a tall one that hangs a bit over our side of the fence. While none of these could be considered copious producers, each bush steadily makes daily raspberries - a few at a time - from mid summer to early fall. At this point in September, their bounty is fleeting... which made me think about how much pleasure I get from the unassuming plants each year.

Every day, I wander past the bushes. Oh look! A few more berries! Sometimes they are dark and perfectly soft. Sometimes the white buds are just starting to turn pink, and they are too hard for picking. No matter; they'll be ready for me to eat them soon. A few berries might be shriveled and drying because I didn't notice them soon enough (always a sad sight). I might glimpse, for the first time, a little droopy, leaf-covered clump holding a cluster of perfect, yet-to-be-picked berries. How did I not notice them until now?

It is rare to…

PracticeBalance Again Featured on KevinMD!

My recent post about the challenges of NORA was picked up by the Medpage Today's popular medical blog This was a timely release, given the recent events surrounding Joan Rivers' death. To be honest, I hadn't heard about her death being a possible result of an endoscopic procedure until I started reading some of the comments to my post. (Shows you how much TV I watch)!

Of course at this juncture, it is difficult to know the details of how she suffered cardiac and/or respiratory arrest during an elective procedure at an outpatient medical center. She could have been receiving moderate sedation or something deeper, and there may or may not have been an anesthesiologist present (I cannot piece it together from the conflicting reports I have read).

The thing to note is that she was 81. She may have had lots of plastic surgery that made her physical appearance belie her age, but sedation or anesthesia on an 81 year old is never without risk. And sedation or anesthes…

Two Weeks of Waiting = Torture

(Image courtesy
The hardest part of doing IVF is this phenomenon known as the Two Week Wait. After an embryo is implanted, the pregnancy hormone HCG does not rise to detectable levels for approximately 10-14 days; thus, you have to wait two weeks to find out if the procedure was successful and you are actually pregnant. This is an especially torturous time for women, as it's easy to scrutinize every little thing you feel or do:

"I have some cramps... does this mean I'm pregnant?"

"I tripped in the garden yesterday and lurched forward... what if that made the embryo dislodge?"

"My breasts hurt... No wait, now they don't hurt..."

When people ask me how I'm faring in my IVF journey, I always say that the mental aspect of things is MUCH harder than the physical aspect. The mind game of waiting is a big part of that. I can shoot myself in the belly and butt with hormones until I'm blue from bruises, but I have a hard…