Memories worth Remembering: It’s Always Time to be Thankful

Before I post this, let me relay that the irony of this post is that as I was writing it my website came crashing down – messed up, jumbled – before my very eyes. Anyway, it is now Monday afternoon (post originally written Saturday morning) and I am finally able to post.  I’m exhausted so it is going up as-is . . .


It’s been easy to let things fall off my radar, and blogging is no exception. The holidays just around the corner, my son being a lovely expounder and absorber of energy learning new things each day, I thought that the fall would bring my blog tons of activity. I thought of writing Christmas shopping list ideas, addressing the big things that have affected us in the country this year – like the election and Hurricane Sandy . .and fully expected to have peaceful evenings available to spill my guts about life.

But this fall has proved to be a particularly busy one. With my husband traveling frequently and work keeping me to later hours (egads, the challenges of getting to daycare before it closes . ), running in place has become my modus operandi. This week, no exception, came looming before me in all its glory weeks and weeks before it came to pass. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy one. T was going to be traveling not through the normal Thursday, but till Saturday evening, and my parents have been on a very prolonged journey and weren’t going to be around to provide help – something which I’ve come to rely on during this very busy season.

And then this week came. Suffice to say that the week indeed *was* just as bad as I feared it would be . . . perhaps a bit worse. By the time Thursday rolled around my coworker exclaimed that she’d never seen me so pessimistic, when during the lunch hour all I wanted to do was to go home to bed and eat Bon Bons.

I won’t go into the bad details of the week. That is not the purpose of this post. I want to. Oh, how I love to complain, but doggone it, R, that’s not what you are trying to do here, so stick to your guns! And let’s face it – there are so many more people in this country and this world who are suffering from much more serious concerns – and I see and hear of you every day . . . patients of mine who I see for the first time after they have not been able to have healthcare for years and years . . . those in the country who are still so tragically without your homes, electricity, and basic needs . . .people in car accidents as I pass by . . .My troubles don’t just pale, they disintegrate, in comparison to what goes on in the lives of others.

So at 6:00 a.m. on this Saturday morning, I enjoyed a lovely, fruity, delicious cup of hot tea and sat down. Little L was still asleep, thank goodness. No, I did not empty the full dishwasher. I did not start the laundry. I did not start breakfast. I sat down.

And now, six hours later (no sooner had I begun my bloggin when the little feverish tyke awakened), I will write and enjoy this brief peace.

This week, all I want to remember is the stuff worth remembering. This week was:

. . .The week I rediscovered NPR News
After many years of fruitlessly turning the radio dial, I found the NPR news station again and am loving every minute of listening to it. So many fascinating interviews of historians, politicians, and even Mick Jagger. Alton Brown gave Thanksgiving turkey advice (Brine. Don’t baste. Don’t open the oven if you want a fully cooked bird. Don’t put stuffing in the bird – add it at the end.)

. . . The week my son said “Fenofenos.”
My little guy is talking a mile a minute, and we took him on a memorable trip to the Philadelphia Zoo last week, when he watched giraffes grooming one another and proceeded to describe it very embarrassingly  to T and I after we returned home.  Ah, the joys of a child’s speech.  But It is really, really cool to see how quickly it continues to develop. No, my son isn’t getting much bigger by the day – he has always been tiny and his appetite continues to be so.  But his lexicon, how it grows.  After returning from the Zoo he was easily able to remember the giraffes and the rhinoceros (fenofenos), and when he was playing at a friend’s house yesterday, he knew the flamingo right there from all the zoo toys.  Pretty cool. And despite the consistent demands for Mary Poppins (no longer Maya Bobbits) and selections from the Hello Dolly soundtrack (in particular – Hello Dolly, It Takes a Woman, and Put on your Sunday Clothes) I’m dealing with the repetition ok.  Glad to know he takes after his mom in his love for both of these. He even recited almost the whole chorus of Hello Dolly- doesn’t happen often, but when it does I definitely remember it! Lest I digress, this was also . .

. . . The week I helped more patients than I have helped in a long time.
It’s not enough to say clinic felt busy – it was very busy, with the exception of one very far away clinic where I cross-covered where they had accidentally had my whole schedule cancelled.  Patients at the health department routinely wait for several hours despite our best efforts, and it meant the world to have [mostly] patient patients with me. In particular, it felt good to provide immunizations to one little boy who was five and very delayed on his immunizations. While his family was squeamish about doing multiple immunizations at once, they had not been delaying immunizations because of any political or health related reasons.  The mother simply had not had access to health insurance for her little boy and had only limited his doctors’ visits to sick visits up until now. Crazy what money and lack thereof (and lack of insurance) will do to people and their decisionmaking. You stick ot the bare bones and that is it, and then cannot put in the preventative safety nets that are so important. Anyway, she waited for a few hours to give immunizations to her son and was *extremely* patient in waiting for me, and it felt great to serve her.  Later in the week on another busy afternoon it felt good to have my last two patients of the day inform me that they had just acquired health insurance, and they wanted to check if it was still ok for them to come to the health department.  They felt comfortable working with me and felt settled into the practice.  You want to stay?  Of course it is ok!  We love to keep our patients once we have them and I love these times when patients want to keep on with me. Not only this, but this week was . . .

. . .The week that my son declared his independence.
Mind you, this is the same clingy boy who never wants to be away from his mama.  He still is like that, especially now while he has some particularly strong sniffles.   I expected little when I brought him into his school this Monday and noticed that the Junior Gym golks were there – I brought him in, had him touch mats and proceeded to talk with his instructors, as he bawled away and wanted to get the heck out of there (gym didn’t go so well for him the past several weeks).  When I dropped him off in his daycare classroom, he left willingly because he was happy not to be going straight to gym, and I encouraged his teachers to let him try gym class again today even if he cried.  To my amazement this week, little L successfully attended his gymnasium class at school and returned to his classroom tear-free. And for the rest of the week, I was able to leave him in his classroom nearly each day with him integrating himself into it immediately, talking with his friends and looking at toys, but without him crying at all at my leaving. And finally, the piece de resistance yesterday as I left him at his friends’ home for the day – he waved goodbye to me and barely wanted to give me a hug. We’ll see how long this newfound independence lasts. But he is growing up, isn’t he?

. . . The week that I was able to depend on dear friends for help.
It is always nice to help other people, but frankly it feels really great when you know you can depend on friends for help when you need it.  I send out great thanks to K, T, and their daughter A for all the time they spent with me yesterday and their help in watching my little guy. They have a busy household and I know it was the end of the week, but it felt really nice to see A and L playing together and getting along so well, and knowing how good their mom was with L.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And despite the most challenging dinner out I’ve had with little L in a long time, thank you for the company. 🙂  He ate a few of his noodles this morning at least. And even though it was at times inconvenient, this was also . . .

. . .The week when several relatives including my brother, cousins, and parents reached out to me lots.
Nevermind that most of the calls were between six and eight in the morning, which is more than a little inconvenient, but hey, I am really glad to know that you were thinking of me and were able to reach out to me to listen to my complaints, and were also able to call on me to help then out.  Everything worked out and I got to talk to all of you.  I love it if I can help in any way I can and being a doctor I love making a difference in family members’ health concerns. And I love that you are willing to listen to my bickering, too.

Now that I think of it . . the list of all the good stuff is pretty darn long. Because I know I’ve thought of more things to put into this post throughout the day and now my brain is saying No No NO, just end the darn post already. So now I can remember this week as an extra good week and forget all about the frustrating odds and ends that peppered a variety of moments and the ends of long days.  Breathe out tension, breathe in peace. And be thankful for everything there is out there in my life!