Doctor Only Me Time.

Day 12 – National Blog Posting Month.

Later today I am leaving the city for a big conference.  Getting on a jet plane, folks. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Just kidding…

I feel a bit weird leaving my husband and kids.  I know they’ll be fine but it’s a lot of work, three kids and a household.  Two days ago I told husband I felt guilty for leaving him with the kids.  He said not too, that I deserved a break.  I couldn’t help but think, “I need a break?! I get to go to work everyday! He needs the break!” I love him for saying it though. I know if he were in my shoes, he’d be excited to go away for a few days.  I’m sure I will be excited once I’m at the airport but right now I worry about how the grade one parent-teacher interview will go on Thursday and I worry that the baby still isn’t quite over his stomach flu because nor am I.

Last night husband made sure he knew where my life insurance policies were.  You know, just in case.  Oh God, that reminds me that I still haven’t done my will.

I really do need this conference though.  Since having the baby I haven’t really done much in the way of organized course work/self-learning.  I’ve done some online reading around patient issues but not much else.  I really need some time to focus on medicine and what’s new. I am meeting my friends from residency and we’ll be doing some guided self-learning workshops in between the conference sessions.  We’ve booked some restaurants and I pray my stomach is better.  My appetite is returning, very slowly, so I know I shouldn’t overdo it in the eating (or drinking) department.  Le sigh.

I plan on bringing my winter running clothes as the temperatures are about to drop and I’m headed a bit northeast of my current location.  I haven’t run in almost a week because of this stomach virus, so I really really hope I can get a 3-5 km run done.  I really miss it.

I have a morning clinic to work and a few errands to run before the car picks me up for the airport. I’m sure the excitement will set it in at some point but for now I just wish this stupid stomach virus would end.

JJ – The Animal Rescuer

Day 9 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

A few months ago, a good friend of ours packed up her life in the city and together with her partner moved to Costa Rica to manage the Nosara Animal rescue shelter. Before they left the country, we had them over for dinner to wish them well. I can honestly say both my husband and I were a little jealous at their freedom in life to be able to do so.

Our friend had always worked with animals. For as long as I’ve known her, she was worked in veterinary clinics as a technician and has loved animals. A few years ago she rescued a feral pregnant cat and took care of her during the pregnancy. She was there when the cat delivered her litter and actually kept the kittens that survived. She has traveled to Bali as well as Costa Rica to volunteer at animal shelters.

Two years ago, she held a wine and cheese fundraising event for the shelter in Bali. She is also a photographer and was selling her work. I bought one of her photographs and put it up in my exam room. It is a stunning photograph. It gave me a sense of calmness and peace and I felt it was perfect for patients to look at while in the exam room.  I can’t count the number of compliments I’ve received about this photograph.

She is chronicling her adventure in Costa Rica in the form of a blog and the entire reason I am writing about her today is to showcase her blog and her photography.  She plans to donate 50% of her commission to the animal rescue, I am proudly going to plug it here. If you love animals, please visit her blog and her photography website.  You can also follow her on Twitter @TravelRescuer.

Thank you!

The Journey and Adventures of Animal Rescue in Costa Rica

JJ’s Online Photography Gallery

An Update and Another Challenge.

I miss posting every day.  Really, I do.

When National Blog Posting Month ended, I breathed a silent sigh of relief.  Phew! The daily pressure to post every day was off.  I looked forward to that time alone to compose my thoughts and write a post.  I miss it so much that I think I might make January, 2014 my own blog posting month.  You heard it here first.  It gives me something to do every day, you know, besides taking care of the house, the kids and the baby.  It stimulates my mind and I really do need that.

I promised someone I would write about sleep training, and I will.  If there are any other topics my readers, you, would like me to write about, please let me know.

Oh, I have some news.  In the last week or so, I decided that it was too soon to return to work on March 1.  So, I spoke with the physician covering my practice and she is willing to stay an extra month.  My official return to work date is now April 1.  The thought of returning to work in 2 months just didn’t sit well with me, the baby still seems so young.  I also like the idea that I’ll be leaving my husband alone with three kids as the weather starts to improve.  Leaving him when it’s still winter just doesn’t seem fair.  My bank account isn’t going to like it, but I really don’t care.  This is the last time I will be off for this length of time and I want to make the most of it.  I am even dreaming of a trip South with the whole crew in February or March.  I would love to return to Jamaica.  But that’s another post.

For now, I will leave you with a photograph depicting what it looks like outside today.

And this is what I’m dreaming of for February or March.

Sleepy Thoughts.

I felt the need to write, despite being utterly exhausted today.  I wish I could blame it on my 1 month old son, but not this time.

Last night we had friends over for dinner.  A few bottles of wine and a bottle of Port later, I’m going to bed at midnight, only to be woken up at least 3 times to nurse.  (And just for the record, I helped with the wine consumption just a little bit, stopping myself at two glasses of wine and a half glass of port, not so much because of nursing but mostly because I wished to avoid the hangover.)  I did manage to avoid the hangover, but have barely been able to keep my eyes open all day.

The things we do to maintain our social lives.

The friends who joined us for dinner are moving out of the country next month, so it was important to us that we see them before they leave.  They are moving to Costa Rica for at least a year to work in an animal rescue clinic.  It’s a huge move for this couple but one I have no doubt they will make work. It’s an incredible adventure and I am a little bit jealous of the freedom they have to make such a move.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change my life at all, I love my family and my work, but the thought of just picking up, putting my stuff in storage, hopping on a plane and living the expatriate life is for a while is really, really intriguing.

In all this “free time” I have now that I’m on maternity leave, I have been reading a lot of blogs on various subjects and find myself drawn time and time again to the MSF blogs. Reading about the work these doctors do abroad is fascinating.  When I told my husband about it, he said he would love to pack up the kids, rent out the house and have all of us go to Africa for a year.  He imagines I would work for MSF while he and the kids help build a house or something.  Obviously we’d have to wait until the kids were older, but what an incredible experience that would be.  To be able to leave the safety and comfort of my home and experience life in a developing country, to bring much-needed medicine and education – the thought of it just leaves me breathless.  Could I really do something like that? Could I leave my practice, my home, my comfort zone?  I’m really not sure, but I’d like to think I could.

Could you?

Dreaming of the Beach …

My FB feed today is full of comments about the weather.  It’s a snowy, slushy mess today.  It’s February, for heaven’s sake, what do people expect??

Hubby said this would be the perfect week to have gone south.  I reminded him that indeed, 5 years ago this week, we were in Negril, Jamaica on our honeymoon.

Ah… Negril.

We stayed at CoCo La Palm on the seven-mile beach.

Heaven.  It was pure heaven.

I have been wanting to go back ever since we left.  The locals were incredibly friendly, we loved how everyone was on “Jamaica time”.  We’d order a Red Stripe and maybe it would arrive a half-hour later.  So we quickly learned to order several at a time (ha!) so we were well stocked.

As I look out my office window today, the snow and slush make me want to get on a plane right now with the family and hit that beautiful beach again.

I think I am ready for winter to be over.  We’ve had our fair share of snow and sleet.  I want to see my tulips sprouting.  I’d like to put my boots away.  It’s time.