On this last day of 2012, I ran 7.19 km. It was the farthest I’ve ever run. I did it in 54 minutes and 14 seconds. I surprised myself. The thought of running 10 kilometers 6 months ago? Yeah… riiiight. Yet, I find myself approaching that goal and I’m not even sure how it happened. Which leads me to the title and subject of this post.
My goals/wishes/bucketlist for 2013.
good health for my husband and children, and the rest of my family
keep running … to 10 km (and beyond?)
enjoy more wine
keep my patient population as healthy as possible
read more novels
watch more good movies
laugh more, cry less
see my friends more
celebrate my husband’s 40th in style!
read all my medical journals the week they arrive
celebrate the 10 years since med school graduation (hopefully with the rest of my class!)
Ah… just when you thought you’d heard the last from me in 2012. But alas, I return with some further thoughts – lucky you!
Part of me hates the holiday season. Why? you may ask. Well, it seems that disease decides to rear its ugly head during the most inopportune time.
I remember the case of a 50-something year old woman several years ago who came in to the walk-in-clinic I was working at on December 20. She didn’t have a family doctor, in fact, hadn’t seen a doctor in many years. She was complaining of abdominal pain and fatigue, which she said was new but on further questioning she admitted she hadn’t been feeling well for months. Her family finally made her come to the clinic because she was looking yellow. Indeed, she was jaundice and upon examination of her abdomen, I felt a mass near her stomach. An abdominal ultrasound later that day revealed a large tumor of the pancreas. Her blood work was very abnormal. I referred her to the local hospital, where she was admitted and died 2 weeks later.
A few years ago, around December 19, I received a very abnormal prenatal ultrasound report. The patient was already aware as the result had gone to her OB first, and by the time I called her, she had the amniocentesis which revealed a lethal chromosomal anomaly. On December 23, she delivered her daughter and spent the rest of the holidays mourning the loss. A year later, almost to the day, a healthy, bouncing baby boy was born. (This one kind of had a happy ending, sort of.)
This week, I have had to tell two women that they are going to miscarry.
And now, my thoughts are occupied with a young woman, my age, whom I suspect has thyroid cancer. I am working my ass off today to get her an appointment with a surgeon, before the end of this year. Why does this shit go down days before a holiday?! WHY?! I don’t want to be responsible for ruining someone’s holiday, or worse yet, starting someone’s New Year with news of cancer? This is the part of my job that truly sucks.
It’s December 20. This could be our last day on Earth, if the Mayans had it right.
Have you seen the movie, 2012? Oh goodness, it’s one of my favorite disaster films. Did I not mention that in my bio? I LOVE disaster movies. Disaster movies are my go-to films when I am feeling down, or sick, or both. I recognize that I may need some professional help.
As the end of the world year approaches, I started to compose a list of events that defined the year for me. I tried to put it in a poem (just to be different), but who am I kidding, poet I am not.
So, how does one sum up 366 days? (Leap year, remember?)
I celebrated 10 amazing years with my partner in life.
My stunning little boy turned 1.
I tweeted a few thousand times.
A door closed, but another one opened.
I blogged a lot and people are reading!
I did a childish thing. Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. (Ambroise Bierce)
I got up off the couch to 5k in 6 weeks.
I became a runner.
I lost a total of 8 inches, all from running.
I shared a wonderful, relaxing summer holiday with good friends.
I witnessed the birth of the behaviour of women in the bodies of 3 little girls. It was a little frightening.
I saw my 4-year-old enter the public school system.
I experienced the death of two patients through the eyes of their loving family.
I enjoyed countless glasses of wine.
I saw a few good films.
I shed several tears, but laughed a hell of a lot more.
Overall, it was a good year. There were certainly a few bumps in the road, but that is life.
To all my friends (past and present), and to my readers, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2013.
I write this as my daughter paints. She loves painting and I love watching her creations come to life, more so today than any other day. She has been sick all week with a high fever and cough, (likely Influenza A), and today is the first day in a week that she has expressed a desire to do something other than lie on the couch.
To my eye, this looked like a self-portrait. So, I asked her, “Is that a picture of you?”
“No, Mommy. It’s a zombie.”
??? A zombie?
“Who taught you about zombies?” I asked.
“Westin,” was her answer. A boy in her class.
Gone is my control of what she learns and when she learns it.
When does a child lose their innocence? Seems like a silly question after the events this past week. Certainly there are many children whose innocence was lost at that elementary school. I am grateful my daughter is young enough to be oblivious to the news. My husband and I were very careful not to discuss it at all around her. In fact, we barely discussed it at all. I couldn’t read my twitter feed, nor Facebook. It was just too much.
Instead, I held my children extra tight that evening, grateful that they were safe. I’ll contemplate that question of innocence on another day. For now, she is here, healthy again, painting in her smock and happy. On this Sunday afternoon, that’s enough for me.