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.

The Inspiring Blogger Award.

 

The wonderful ladies at Hot Heels, Cool Kicks & a Scalpel honored me with the Inspiring Blogger Award.  Thank you!

When I started this blog, it was meant as a way to chronicle my journey from maternity leave back to the workforce, but somewhere along the way it evolved into a diary of being a mother to three wonderful children, a doctor to many, a wife to one and a runner.  It has been cathartic in many ways and to think that I am helping to inspire other young physician mothers is something I never expected.  So, I thank you.

Now, here are the rules:

  1. Thank and link to the amazing person(s) who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven facts about Dr. Mom:

  • I have a tattoo; it’s a small green alien
  • My favorite television series of all-time is The X-Files
  • I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 13 years old
  • I have an old-lady hobby… I cross stitch.
  • I went to an all-girls high school, let’s just leave it at that.
  • I am not a girly girl at all; I’ll take wearing jeans and a t-shirt over heels and a skirt any day, much to the chagrin of my husband
  • I have a hard time saying “No” to people.

Now, I’m supposed to direct you to 15 other bloggers whom I enjoy reading and find their stories inspiring and thought-provoking,  though I can only come up with 13 (*ducking*).  I don’t know if they’ve been nominated (I’m too busy to find out), so here goes:

http://halftherun.blogspot.ca/

http://crankygiraffe.wordpress.com

Behind the White Coat

Runner Under Pressure

Surgery At Tiffany’s

A Game of Diapers

Anna in Med School

Violent Metaphors

Doctors’ Bag

At least we made it this far…

The Poxes Blog

The Blog Runner

Generally Medicine

The Medium Is the Message

Day 17 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

The irony is not lost on me.

I succumbed.

Image

I bought an e-reader today.

I wrote a while back that I have not been reading books of late and it was something that really bothered me.  My attention span seems non-existent these days and I blame the Internet.  Well, my smart phone, specifically.  So, the other day at our local wholesale store, I saw the Kobo and started thinking I might read more using a “device”, since I use my phone so much at nighttime anyway.

As an experiment, I downloaded the Kobo App to my phone and bought a cheap mystery novel.  Over the past two nights, I’ve read four chapters.  Perhaps this is the way to go for me?

I’ll keep you posted.

Now to go open it up and figure out how the thing works!

Light Reading.

One of the toughest things I find while being on maternity leave is finding the time to read my medical journals.  Oh sure, there’s plenty of time to write my blog, surf the net, check Twitter and FB, eat food and nurse the baby.  But sitting down for 10-15 minutes to read a journal?  Surely, you jest!

I subscribe to several medical journals – CMAJ, CFP and NEJM. For some reason, I have stopped getting paper copies of CFP, so it’s even more rare that I read it.  However, CMAJ and NEJM come regularly.  And they pile up on my desk.

I will usually skim through the CMAJ but the one I read a lot of is NEJM (though you wouldn’t know it to see the stack on my desk right now).  I really enjoy the Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Images in Clinical Medicine. Only in a medical journal can you see some gross stuff (well, I’m sure you can find lots on the Internet, but that’s a different thing).  Both are great exercises in problem solving.  The Case Records goes through a patient case step by step, from initial admission to discharge/conclusion.  Most of the cases are pretty obscure but there are a few that I have figured out before the diagnosis is given.  Same is true for the images, though most of the time I have no idea what I’m looking at because the medical condition is so obscure.  Still, it’s fun.

The only problem now is that I just don’t have the attention span to read the journals.  I am so, so tired.  I feel like a broken record. I read a sentence and I have no idea what I just read.  It’s not even that my  mind is on other things – my mind is actually nowhere.  Zombie-land.  Clouds. Ether.  I have no idea where it goes.

I know it’ll get better. I have done this before.  I know what that feeling will be like to wake up in the morning and realize I’ve slept for 7 hours non-stop.  My first thought will be, “Oh my God, is the baby ok?”  And then when I realize he’s slept through the night I’ll be beyond happy. Ecstatic.

Until then, the journals will continue to accumulate and hopefully, slowly but surely, they will get read.

Putting the mobile device down …

I used to be an avid reader.  I say “used to”, because, frankly, I think its been over a year since I actually finished a book.

Growing up, there were quite possibly hundreds of books in my parent’s house.  Books were everywhere.  I was always encouraged to read from a very young age. My father learned English by reading Louis L’Amour novels with a dictionary.  I seem to recall learning to read with a light-operated pen, much like the modern-day LeapFrog reading systems.   In grade school, we had to keep track of all the books we read each school year.  I still have reading logs from those days showing that I would read up to 100+ books in a school-year.

One of my favorite series was The Girls of Canby Hall. I think at one point I had all of the books.  I loved reading about the girls who lived in a boarding school.  I would often imagine what it’d be like to go to boarding school.  Now that I think about it, my dreams of having a group of girlfriends originated from reading this series.

As a teenager, I started reading a lot of my father’s books.  At the tender age of 14, I was introduced to the world of Sidney   Sheldon.  To this day, “If Tomorrow Comes” remains on of my all-time favorite novels and made-for-TV movies.  The movie is incredibly cheesy but what a fun ride!  I remember Sheldon’s novels always had strong female characters which resonated with me from a very young age.

In my later teens I started reading Tom Clancy.  I remember being fascinated with the world of espionage and if I’m not mistaken, the first novel my father suggested I read was “The Hunt for Red October”.  I must have read it at least two or three times before I really understood the book.  Of course, once the movie came out, the book made complete sense!

The last meaningful book I read was W. Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage“. I think what drew me to the novel was that the main character attended medical school, but it is so much more than just a man becoming a doctor.  It was a fascinating read and while I rarely read the classics, it reminded me of just how incredible these works of literature really are.  A couple of friends of mine are involved in a book club that plans on reading 100 of the best classic novels over the next 9 years.  It is quite a feat!  I was invited to join but declined for now.  Maybe once I get back into the swing of reading regularly, I will reconsider joining.

One might ask why, if I was such an avid reader, I stopped reading.  The answer is simple. Damn iPhone.

Seriously.  Since I got the iPhone, my nighttime reading has declined dramatically.  Instead, my nightly routine is to:

  • 1) check email
  • 2) check Twitter
  • 3) review Facebook
  • 4) browse Pinterest
  • 5) play Sudoku
  • 6) turn off light and fall asleep

The other night, husband told me he put down his iPhone at bedtime and opened up a book. Within two pages of reading, he’d fallen asleep.  I think it’s time to put the mobile device away at bedtime and open up a book.  So, yesterday, husband and I took the baby to the local bookstore while the older two kids were at school.  I found two books – the first, a fun read, Michael Crichton’s posthumously published “Micro“, and the second, an intelligent read, “Far from the Tree“, by Andrew Solomon.

Now it’s time to put the computer away and open up a book.

Looking ahead to 2013.

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
  • travel more
  • 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!)
  • write more posts than last year
  • spend more time with my children and husband

Doable, yes?

Happy New Year, everyone!!!  What’s on your list?

The 4-year-old.

This popped up on my FB feed this morning.

I immediately wanted to paste a photo of my daughter in place of the lovely woman on the phone.

Harsh?  Maybe a little.

Accurate?  Damn straight.

I don’t know what it is about mornings, but daughter (who will be 4 in late November) has been waking up more times than not, grumpy.  She comes into our room demanding breakfast, turns on the lights, wants my phone or wants some milk.  My alarm hasn’t even gone off (hell, who needs one with this kid?).  She’s a great kid.  She is just hellish in the morning… oh, and right before bed.

Over the last month or so, her  “time outs”  are increasing exponentially.  She just does not listen, or do what she’s told.  Either she is wrapped up in a book, or with drawing that she just isn’t paying attention to us, or she is deliberately ignoring us.  When my parents witness the behavior, I can see the smirk that comes across their face.  The expression, “what goes around, comes around” comes to mind.

Time and again, while talking to patients in the office, particularly parents, I hear the expressing, “the effing fours”.  Really?  That’s just a myth, right? Right??  Sadly, I think I’m deluding myself, especially when I see this wonderful blogger describing what my life has been like the last few days.  Just when I thought we were getting into a good eating phase, she does a complete 360 on me and it’s back to the refusal… of everything (that doesn’t have chocolate in it.)

Don’t get me wrong, watching my kid come into her own personality and seeing her doing things independently is wonderful.  I know everything she is doing is right for her age, I just wish it wasn’t so trying sometimes. Why does bedtime have to be a battle?  (Speaking of battle, we just got this book from Scholastic – brilliant!)  I know I have it pretty easy.  Five out of 7 days of the week, I only have to deal with the morning and afternoon crazies.  The rest of the day I am dealing with the adult crazies (ha! ha!).  Hats off to my husband who is in the trenches with the kids 7 days a week.

I have to say though, that despite the occasional (okay, somewhat daily) epic meltdowns daughter is having lately, she is an amazing big sister.  She and little brother are playing more and more together every day.  She is teaching him so much. Just this morning she pointed to a picture of Elmo and said, “Who’s this?” and he responded, “Eh-mo”.  Cue big grin from him and proud smile from her.  It was so adorable.  Almost daily, there is a few minutes in the day when big sister and little brother sit on the couch and “read” a book together.  It’s one of the best parts of the day.

I love my 4-year-old.  She drives me crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.