Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Visit From Some Time to Sit

‘Twas the evening of Christmas and all through the house

The fam’ly was scattered – parents, children and spouse.

Two of the boys played piano duets

While the third read a book and arranged the chess set.


My parents unwound with some reading online

As my husband and I shared a glass of red wine.

Our niece and two nephews, pure cuteness delight,

With my sis and her husband had left for the night.


A huge pot of soup cooled out back in the snow

To feed the whole clan for the next day or so.

The break in routine from our day-to-day rush

Provided our souls with a much-needed hush.


This gave me a moment to pause and reflect

On the stresses and beauty allowed to collect

In my mind, in my heart, in my thoughts every day,

As they sift and they settle as I make my way

Throught the wishes and worries that gel in my head

From my moment of waking ’till I crash in my bed.


As a mom, as a wife, as a daughter and sis,

As a doctor and writer how often I miss

Being able to stop and just breathe and let go

And allow swirling thoughts their own ebb, swell, and flow,

Since the normal M.O. is to force them to fit

Into times in the day I’ve a moment to sit.


Fleeting worries each day, some stay longer and bother –

The health of a friend, child, mother or father,

Or husband or in-law, sibling or client –

Small or vague symptoms could mean something giant.


So I think of potentially what could be worst

And try to eliminate scary stuff first

While keeping my voice steady, even, and calm

To avoid causing others a worry or qualm.


I use logic and numbers to quell my own fears

That otherwise might induce panic or tears,

And I shove down the worries inside my own mind

As I rush here and there so I won’t get behind.


But tonight there’s no practice, no lesson, no meeting,

No meet, and no concert with first-come, first-served seating.

And although there’s now time for a fear to float through,

There’s time and there’s space for the other thoughts, too.


No need to stop music to send kids to study.

Their sounds fill my soul, and the worries don’t muddy.

My parents and children together in laughter

Send trivial matters away ever after.


Mu husband, Superman, taking it in

By my side, with a chuckle and satisfied grin

As we contemplate all the events that transpired

In the previous months when we’ve been so darn tired:


Our youngest surpassed me in height as he grew.

Our eldest has chosen a college (Go Blue!).

Our middle one’s mastered the pulling of pranks.

We sit and let open the floodgates of thanks.


The laughter, the music, the sweetness flows through

In my head, in my heart, in my soul it shines, too.

My heart takes to wing as my spirit it lifts –

My life overflows with the most splendid gifts.

The Trick That Makes This Doctor Furious

I use my computer a lot, so I see a lot of advertisements. Many of them are for the latest two or three items I’ve priced online (which I find somewhat creepy but fairly easy to ignore). Many of them are generic, casting a wide net. These generic ads frequently talk about “one ridiculously easy trick” to halve your car insurance payments, lose 50 pounds, learn a foreign language, look younger, or drastically reduce your utility bills. Experts in the relevant fields apparently don’t want you to know about these ridiculously easy tricks, and the fact that “local moms” know about them makes the experts “furious.”

The websites promoting these ads either put malware on your computer or make their sites impossible to navigate away from (“are you sure you want to leave this page?” and if you click “yes,” they take you to another page selling the same thing) until you give them your credit card number to subscribe to deliveries in perpetuity of the magic product. They are scams. They are silly. Most people know this and ignore them, but some folks are sucked in.

Those that are sucked in are either looking for an easy way to do something that takes a lot of work or they’re annoyed and fed up with those the ads purport to infuriate. That’s the aspect I want to discuss – the annoyance and fed-up-ness. I can see that people might want to stick-it-to-the-man in situations where they feel like they have been treated less-than-fairly. I suppose there are people who hated their college’s foreign language requirement, resented the homework their professor assigned, and can’t wait to do what “makes language professors livid!” Of course, if you were to take a second to think about it, you’d realize that a language professor wouldn’t be angry if there were an easy way to learn a language – a professor wants her students to learn! But the ad tries to get people to act on an initial feeling of animosity. I find it sad that there is animosity toward teachers (some of my favorite people in the world are teachers).

And as a doctor, it bothers me that people are capitalizing on an impulse to do something that “infuriates doctors.” Again, if you were to think about it for a second, why would a doctor be angry if someone safely and effectively were to lose weight or quit smoking? But the fact that the impulse is there says that there exists among some a perception that doctors want to coerce patients into doing things that somehow benefit the doctors and not the patients. The perception is that the doctor wants his patient to take an expensive medication (which somehow financially benefits the doctor) rather than the mail-order magic berries or green coffee beans or whatever other magic potion the website offers for the bargain price of $69.95 per month – a 70% savings off the retail price!

Doctors need to do a better job in the PR department, specifically by working to partner with their patients to help them feel more engaged and empowered with their own healthcare. Physicians need to do a much better job in the general education department – educating their own patients and doing outreach to help educate the population-at-large on topics like how to evaluate a research study and what websites are trustworthy sources. For example, is the site for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, run by the NIH, which conducts and supports research on and provides information about complementary health practices, including use of supplements/herbs/etc.

What really infuriates the physician writing this blog is unscrupulous people looking to make a buck who try to drive a wedge between people and their doctors. I’ll post this blog later in Chinese, as soon as I finish the program that ticks off language professors, which I paid for with the money I saved on homeowner’s insurance using one ridiculously simple trick.