2017 – with a vengeance.

2017 came in with a vengeance, for me at least. New Years Eve day started out with my three-year-old up chucking his applesauce then spiking a fever for most of the afternoon. While the older two kids were on their way to my in-laws, it was touch and go whether the baby would be staying home and changing our NYE plans or going to my mom’s for the night. Thankfully with some Advil and Gravol, he perked up enough to be sent there for the night.

As my husband and I prepared to go to our friend’s place for the evening, I had a fleeting thought of “What if I’m the next one to get hit with the stomach flu?”  I forgot to mention that my eldest got hit with the stomach bug two days before.

The evening started out great. We brought all the fixings for a cheese fondue and it turned out great but shortly after starting to eat I felt the distinct uncomfortable rumblings in my lower stomach that signaled something wasn’t right.  Sure enough, an hour before midnight I was hugging the porcelain god and wishing I were dead.  The stomach virus that gently hit my children assaulted me with a vengeance.  Minutes after midnight I was lying in an upstairs spare bedroom shivering with chills. So much for my new year’s eve plans.

Why is it that the holidays bring on such horrible illnesses? This is the second year in a row that my family has been plagued with a stomach virus over the holidays. I myself have had more of these bouts of illness in the last 5 years than I can remember for most of my life. Is it the kids?  Are they the germ factories?

It’s downright awful.

Even after spending almost the entire day in bed yesterday and sleeping close to 14 hours I am still not 100% today and feel like I could be on the verge of intimacy with the porcelain gods again.  As I write this I’m lying in bed with three children arguing for my attention.

Time to sign off …

The Best Post That Never Was.

My three-year-old has this annoying habit of waking up every single night for some reason or another. Usually its for another sippy cup of milk, or to go to the bathroom (we are in the midst of toilet training).  Last night was no exception.  After getting him the milk, helping him with his pull up, he insisted I sleep with him.  It was 4:30 am and rather than fight, I succumbed and crawled into bed with him.

As I was drifting off to sleep, scratching his back, I suddenly had a great idea for a blog post. I had the title and everything. I briefly considered getting up to write it down but thought, “Nah, I’ll remember.”

Dammit.

I don’t remember what the idea was.

It was so brilliant, I swear it was. It was going to mark my comeback to the blogging world.

I thought if I started writing it would come back to me. It hasn’t.

Dammit.

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I dream of Space.

A few weeks ago, a FB friend posted a link to the Canadian Space Agency. For the first time since 2009, applications are being accepted over the next two months to pick the next 2 Canadian Astronauts.

Instantly, my interest was piqued.

Who hasn’t dreamed of being an Astronaut?

The first time I learned about space travel was probably right after the Challenger disaster in 1986.  I was 11 years old. I can kind of remember the chatter in my grade 6 class at recess about the space shuttle blowing up. We watched the news about it as a family later that evening.  When the Time Magazine issue was released (my parents were subscribers back then), I read over every inch of the article.  I was obsessed.  I would ask my parents to take me to the local library so I could read more about the shuttle missions.  I was obsessed for months about the tragedy.

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A few years later, my father introduced me to Carl Sagan.  He knew I was interested in space exploration and the Universe in general and he brought me a book he’d had on his bookshelf called “Contact“.

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After reading the novel, I started to think about life in the universe and truly wondered if we were alone.  I would look up at the stars at night and wonder what it would be like to meet an alien, or travel through space.  It would be years later that I would start watching science fiction television shows. My brother and father were big Star Trek fans for years. I never liked watching those shows when I was a teenager, I was far more interested in Soap Operas thanks to my mom.  Nevertheless, science fiction was all around me growing up, mostly on the book shelves in my dad’s office.

I became a sci-fi “geek” in University.  I started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation after seeing an episode in my first year philosophy course. That episode was “The Measure of a Man“. The episode discussed the idea of whether Data was indeed a sentient being with a conscience. It was fascinating, and I was hooked.

Fast forward 20 years and I’m now sitting at my computer looking at the eligibility requirements to apply to the Canadian Space Agency.  I meet the height and weight requirements; I am a Canadian citizen; I am female; I have several university degrees; I am licensed to practice medicine in Canada.

Holy crap. I qualify to apply!!!!!

And then I started answering some questions on the official application.

“Do you have expertise in Materials Science?”

“Do you have expertise in Orbital Science?”

“Do you have expertise in Spacecraft Design?”

“Do you have expertise in Thermodynamics?”

“Do you have expertise in Space Physics?”

“Do you have expertise in Microgravity?”

“Do you have expertise in Rocket Science?”

“Do you have expertise in Geodesy?”

What the hell is Geodesy?

Hmmm … guess I’m not as qualified as I had originally thought.  Still, I’m going to apply anyway, why the hell not?

Maybe I’ll use this post as my cover letter.

Changes.

It’s been a while!

Hard to believe it’s almost the end of June. There’s been a lot going on in my world, most of it pretty good.

My dad is on the mend from his kidney stone issues and has remained pretty stable with respect to his memory and the Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Two rounds of infection, two general anesthetics, mild delerium and his memory testing was the same!  Unbelievable really. The thing with AD is that the patient kind of remains oblivious to the reality around him.  He recognizes that his memory has declined but he doesn’t understand anymore the impact it has on everyone else, his wife especially.  If there is any blessing with AD it is that the patient loses their higher executive, frontal lobe functioning early.  It is quite the opposite for the family.  My mom is a strong woman though and she is managing pretty well; she goes to her weekly support group, my brother works from their place once a week and she visits the kids when it gets too much.  I wish there was more I could do for her and for my dad.

As for me,  I’ve done two races this month with decent results, given how awful the winter was with my running.  I have another 10K race this weekend and I am not expecting to do any better than 1:15 but that’s okay.  It’s an opportunity to have some fun, run on the highway and get a cool T-shirt and medal!

I’m starting a new part-time job next month in addition to my family practice.  It is an opportunity I sought out and I am excited about. It is an opportunity to grow as a physician, learn about a different model of care and will be a great change of scenery for me.   I’ll be a lot busier, working 5 days a week (instead of 4) but I think I’m up for the challenge.  The future of primary care in my province is looking hazy right now and I am a little worried. We have been without a contract with our Government for over two years and they are planning on implementing change to how primary care is delivered without consulting the front line workers, ie me!  I felt it was time to start looking at other opportunities where my work is actually appreciated.

I’ve missed the blog.  I hope you missed me too.

 

Life and a new pet.

It’s been a while. Work has been exceptionally busy at times. There was a stretch for a few weeks where I wasn’t getting home until well after 6pm. The busy pace is good but when it slows down it seems to really slow down. Like, snail’s pace slow. So slow that I’ve gone out for mid-day runs during the week.

My running comeback has been slow. I still struggle at times with shin splints and am pretty convinced it’s shoe related but just haven’t found the time to get new shoes. I’ve been wearing an older pair which is much better than my current new-ish pair but it’s not ideal. Unfortunately the old shoe isn’t made anymore, I don’t think, so I will have to spend some time trying on new brands and well, there just isn’t enough time right now.

Remember that sourdough starter? Well it’s still going! I’ve made several loaves of bread and have figured out what works and what doesn’t but making just bread all the time is getting boring.  Husband found me a recipe for saltine crackers.

  
They were so good, they rocked!! 😉

Yesterday I tried the Joy of Cooking’s recipe for pretzels. A little bit time consuming and laborious but well worth the final product.


We also have a new pet.

A mouse.

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Have I mentioned we also have a snake? He’s a ball python. We’ve had him for about 10 years now. My husband rescued him from his nephew.  He eats live mice.  Daughter is coming to the age where she understands that the snake eats and what he eats is live mice. Well one day over a month ago, she was particularly smitten with one particular mouse. She begged her daddy not to feed him to the snake.

When I got home from work that night, it was late and the kids were already in bed.  I was surprised to see that there was a mouse still alive.  Husband told me that daughter wanted to keep it, so if she woke up the next morning and still asked about the mouse, he would let her keep it.  First thing the next morning, she woke up and asked him if he saved the mouse.  How could he refuse her? Late that day, the $2.99 mouse was living in a swanky one bedroom apartment worth $75.00.  Almost two months later, he is alive and well and thriving.  Daughter takes excellent care of him.  She cleans out his cage every 2 weeks when the stink gets bad, she is responsible for feeding him and making sure he has enough water.  She has turned into a wonderful mouse mother.

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This mother couldn’t be more proud.

The mouse’s name is Speck.  Even the cat is tolerating him.

In a Funk.

It’s the middle of January and I’ve run a whopping 18 km.  If I am to meet my goal of running 1000 km this year, I need to be running minimum 20 km per week! I’ve been struggling finding the time and motivation to run. The office has been exceptionally busy thanks to the two weeks off I took over the holidays.  And with the drama the holidays had for me, I didn’t feel particularly rested.  I hardly ran much at all in December (28.5 km) and that inactivity seems to have seeped into this first month of the year.

I acknowledged yesterday that I’m in a running slump. Almost daily I get emails about upcoming races in my area.  I haven’t signed up for anything yet but I think I need to in order to get out of this funk I’m in.  I am also annoyed with my body.  I just can’t seem to go any long stretch of time without an injury, not to mention I feel that after two years of running, I should be able to run more then 3-4 km at a steady pace without walking.  Perhaps that’s too much to ask for?

I also seemed to have lost something when I left Instagram and subsequently deleted my profile.  I lost that connection to other runners (to strangers, really) that I followed on Instagram.  And just saying that makes me angry.  I am angry with how I came to rely on those stupid notifications on my phone that someone liked my latest run photo. 

I wish I could abandon all of it and just go back to that insular quiet little life where no one knows what I’m doing unless they ask or I tell them. This constant need/desire to broadcast one’s life over the Internet and get instant gratification for it is narcissistic and I’m ashamed for allowing myself to get caught up in it. 

So yeah, I’m in a bit of a funk. 

My Brain on Internet.

One of my goals this year is to spend less time on the Internet (oh, the irony, as I write this blog) reading vacuous material and more time in the real word reading real books of substance.

My brother told me about this book over a year ago.  I avoided reading it because I think I already knew what it would tell me.

I spent the last month hardly tied to my phone which was incredibly liberating.  Of course, with the holidays and the illness rampant in my house as well as my dad’s hospitalization, there wasn’t enough time in my day to waste on surfing photos on Instagram.  Now that life has returned to some semblance of normal – the kids are back in school, my dad is home and recuperating and I am back to work – I find myself wanting to go back to old habits.  My brain wants its drug back. I really hope reading this book sets me straight.

1000 km in 2016

At the beginning of 2015, a fellow blogger asked me to join her in a running challenge. We were going to run 1000 km in 2015. 

Well today I got a message from Nike+ informing me that I didn’t quite reach my goal. I improved upon the 600+ km I ran in 2014.

 

I haven’t run in two weeks. I won’t belabour the reasons why, if you’ve been reading my blog you know why. I plan to get back out there this weekend.  My body and mind need it. 

I will try to get closer to the 1000 km goal in 2016. 

What are your goals for this new year?

  

Nerd Heaven

Since I am no longer posting on Instagram my blog followers will be subjected to the ultimate nerdiness that embodies this urbandoctormom. 

I am in line two hours before showtime to see an advance screening of the new Star Wars Movie. 

I will not post spoilers in a future post. 

You have my word on that. 

May the Force be with you.  

 

Unplugged.

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It has been a week since I took myself off social media, well except for Facebook, let’s be honest, I’m not that strong. I have to admit it was easier than I expected it to be.  Whenever I felt the need to pick up my phone and open an App, I found myself instead picking up a magazine at the office or reviewing an interesting medical topic on UpToDate.

The one thing I do miss about not being on Instagram is posting photos of my progress on my cross-stitching projects.  It was nice to see that other cross-stitchers enjoyed my work and “liked” my photos.  I was also apparently missed by a few followers and received messages from them asking why I left.

I left for a number of reasons, many of which I won’t discuss here but suffice it to say it served mainly to rid myself of a desire to watch others at a distance. It was unhealthy and really served no other purpose than to torture me.  I created my own prison and couldn’t find a way out, or rather, knew exactly how to get out but didn’t have the courage to do so until last week.  The year is coming to an end and a new one is just around the corner.  It’s time to move on.

I have decided that I want 2016 to be a year of less Internet voyeurism and instead more real-life interaction.  I want to read more books and enjoy life for myself. I want to stop using my phone to take a photo and immediately think, “Oh, that would make a great Instagram post.”  I want to live in the present through my own eyes rather than a camera lens.  I don’t need anyone to approve my life or “like” what I’m doing, least of all strangers.  I also don’t need to provide an open window for my past to watch me through.

Which leads to me this blog. It is the one thing left (other than Facebook but thanks to good privacy controls, I may still keep my accoount) that I still allow my past to witness. I could make this blog private and I might still do so in the new year, I haven’t decided yet.  I know there are those who visit my blog whom I no longer see in real life.   It used to really bother me that they were visiting my blog and it caused me a lot of frustration and stress.  It became an obsession to check the tracking log every day to see if they were back.  I am happy to report that that obsession is now over. The website tracking is gone and I kicked another addiction.

And damn if I don’t feel like I’ve freed myself.

I have unplugged.

I suggest you do the same.