Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I used to think of myself as an activist. I co-led both the Peace and Social Justice Coalition and the Gay Rights group on my college campus. I marched on Washington to protest war, erosion of women's rights, and the general existence of George W. Bush.

In 2008, I went door to door for Barack Obama, and when he was elected, I felt a sense of pride and ownership of that outcome. I watched the inauguration on the TV in the medical student lounge sitting on the floor in a crowd of other future doctors. We cried, we hugged each other, we took pictures of the TV screen.

I can't claim to be an activist anymore. In the 2012 election, I was proud to vote for Obama and for gay marriage in Maryland. But that was the extent of my participation. I didn't go door to door, I didn't man a booth anywhere, I didn't organize a demonstration. I didn't get a chance to watch a single debate. Between residency and baby, I just haven't had time.

Last night I didn't watch the state of the union; I was busy delivering a baby. Which I would rather do than hear a speech any day.

But I do miss participating in politics, not just reading blogs about politics. And I'm keenly aware of how sharply I've criticized my own mother for saying she was less politically engaged than she wanted to be because of us kids. Firstly because she was still extremely engaged. I was on TV at age 7, marching outside city hall with her, protesting school closures.

My mom is the one who taught me to be an activist. She ran an environmental group for elementary students: we cleaned streams and raised money and wrote our state representatives.

But if she didn't have kids, I think she would have been chaining herself to a redwood somewhere, or getting arrested for vandalizing Exxon headquarters.

It's important to me that Bear learns how to be an activist. It's ok if that ends up not being his thing. But if you never see people doing the envelope stuffing, cold calling, marching, or demonstrating, it's hard to get started later. It's easier to be what I've now become, an interested spectator of politics rather than an active participant. As I tell the partners of my laboring patients, "this is not a spectator sport."

I'm a woman busy having it all, and this is just one small way that still isn't enough. And that's ok. If I'm sidelined for the next three years, that's ok. Bear won't remember it understand marching on Washington before then anyway. But I want to get back to it. I don't want activism to be just something I remember fondly from my college days, I want it to be part of my life and part of the way I parent.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Making it

Hi there, blog that I have! I totally still exist.

Sorry for the long radio silence. It's been...tough. But it's been doable. I think I've turned a corner. I think I may make it through this. Maybe that's just the week of vacation talking, but I'll take it.

Work has been absolutely insane. I just finished up one of the hardest rotations of first year. I was carrying up to ten patients, running around like a crazy person. I was completely overwhelmed most if the time, and I cried on my way home from work fairly frequently. But, as my dear friend Meg pointed out, that's sort of normal. And also, I kind of liked it.

At the very least, I wasn't bored.

I do feel sad that I miss so much of Bear's babyhood, there's no getting around that. But, you know what? Bear's doing great. He's a happy, healthy little dude. He is lucky enough to get to stay home with his amazing dad during the day and snuggle me every night (or at least every night that I'm not on call). So I can live with that.

It goes by so fast. It's good and bad. But residency will be over before I know it. And I will learn a boatload of medicine. And Bear won't even remember this crazy time.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I cried in front of my attending today. Not my favorite moment of residency. She asked how the week went and I just told her the truth - that I feel like no matter how hard I scramble I can't figure these patients out, mostly because I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. Ugh.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I am psychotic with fatigue. And this is only 3 admissions...

At one point tonight, while I furiously scribbled a note in a patient's chart, I thought to myself, 'at least I haven't been paged in a few minutes.' Nope, turns out I had left the pager on another floor. Fml.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quiet Sunday

I'm writing this from my lactation suite. And by that I mean the bathroom in the back of the family medicine team room. Luxury.

I hesitate to even say this, but it is a quiet day on the service. We only have five patients, and nothing too crazy is going on with them. I feel like I've hit my stride a little bit. I even had time to write out a discharge summary, and I think it went ok.

I think it's all going to be ok.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Plan

Residency and parenthood are starting to be a blur. So my new plan is to write something here every day. It won't be long; I only have about 2 brain cells and 4 minutes at the end of the day. But I want to have some record of this year, because it it quite a year.

Today was my day off, which was glorious but not long enough. We had breakfast with Rosemary, then puttered around the house, then went to the mall. I had an appointment at the eye doctor to get contacts and then got a haircut.

Bear is a great baby. He is very smiley with me and even more so with Benjamin. He can sit up with support and moves his hands purposefully enough to play with toys. For our mall trip he wore his argyle sweater outfit, which I remember buying with Rosalind when I was pregnant. The time has gone by so fast.

Unfortunately, Bear has a serious rash- I'm pretty sure it is seborrheic dermatitis. Anyway, I've been fretting about it for the past few days, and the conclusion I have reached is that I'm glad Bear has a doctor who isn't me. If one if my patients came in with this, I know what I would do to treat it, but somehow with my own child, I feel crippled with uncertainty.

My one day weekend was not nearly long enough, but it seemed even shorter because I started worrying about work tomorrow almost as soon as I got up. I've got to work on living more in the moment.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm alive

I swear I am alive. I have this post about "having it all" that I've been meaning to write. But it turns out that I'm too exhausted from having it all to write it.

It's our anniversary today. This time last year, it was snowing. This year, hurricane. In any weather, I am so ridiculously glad to be married to my favorite person, Benjamin.