Thursday, November 15, 2018

Guest post: Adorable

A senior doctor came home and told his physician wife about the adorable first year medical student who came to clinic that day. Quiet, in her little white coat, she listened attentively and ‘actually’ spoke up at the end of the discussion and made a valuable observation.

His doctor- wife was none too pleased. “Adorable? How could you even say that? At least don’t repeat it to anyone else.”

I already did,” he admitted sheepishly. “But it was to a woman faculty member, and I prefaced it by saying, “this might be inappropriate, but…”

It reminded her of her childhood when the mean girls would say ‘no offense, but…’ then follow with a totally offensive comment. She secretly hoped those girls googled her now. Anyway.

She pointed out how the desire to apologize meant you should keep your mouth shut. She then trotted out all the reasons why he should never do it again.

It is demeaning. Would he have referred to a male student that way? Yes, he replied. Even if they were 6’3” and ‘built’ (he is 5’9”). Yes, he replied. I doubt it, she responded sagely.

It implies naïveté. Babies are adorable, puppies are adorable. Both being tabla Rosa, unformed, certainly not learned. Which leads to:

It is disrespectful. Prior to arriving in his clinic, she had devoted at least 6 years of AP classes, SAT prep, pSATs, SATs, a pre-Med curriculum, extracurriculars, MCAT prep, MCATs, interviews. That’s not ‘adorable’, it’s impressive. Very impressive for a woman or man (another pet peeve, calling med students and residents ‘kids’, but that’s for another time).

Finally, she is not sure the student would want to be graded on a rotation by someone who thought she was adorable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Stuffing emergency!

Two posts two days in a row??  What's going on!

But I need help!

Thanksgiving is next week.  And I'm not gonna lie, one of my favorite things is Stovetop Stuffing.  I will eat it all year round.  Usually I buy it in the canister and eat it over the course of a month or so.

Recently, I moved to a new town, and they don't have the canister at the grocery stores.  So I got the box, which is also fine usually.  Except when I made it, it tasted awful.  It tasted like mushy bread with no seasoning.

That was the chicken flavored stuffing, so I then bought a box of savory herb stuffing, thinking that might taste better.  It was not.

Now it said it was savory herb, but here is a sampling of stuffing from the box.  See if you can spot the ONE herb. It's harder than finding Waldo. It basically just tastes like flavorless chunks of bread.

What is going on here???  Why is all the stovetop stuffing I buy awful????!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Don't stop reading

I was reading some old blog entries I'd written here ages ago.  It shocked me how brazenly I criticized my co-residents and attendings.  I was fearless and/or stupid.

I didn't care if they discovered those posts.  In fact, I hoped they would.  Because then they would see what a jackass they were for complaining to the female resident who had to take time off to have surgical repair for her fourth degree tear during childbirth that "you just had a vacation!" (Vacation = maternity leave)

But now I care.  I wouldn't insult people from my current job or even my last job.  It's a small field, and I respect those people too much.

And I don't want to just talk about my family.  This is not a Mommy Blog.  I don't want to be the author of a Mommy Blog. 

So the only thing left to write about is how my cat writes emojis in her litterbox:

(Honestly, I always felt like my cat isn't that playful, but this litterbox winky face proves me wrong.)

Fortunately, I recently made an online friend who is a female physician who expressed interest in writing some guest posts.  And she's at the end of her career, so she does not give a shit who she insults.  That must be nice.

So stay tuned.  I should have a post from her this week.  Or failing that, more cat poop emojis.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


In the next twenty-four hours, I will be arrested for first-degree murder.

I don’t know how this could be happening. I’m not the kind of person who goes to jail for murder. I’m not. I’ve never even gotten a speeding ticket. Hell, I’ve never even jaywalked before. I’m the most law-abiding citizen who ever was.

“They have a pretty solid case against you, Abby.”

My lawyer, Robert Frisch, does not sugar coat things. I’ve only known him a short time, but I already know he’s not about handholding and gumdrops and lollipops. He has spent the last twenty minutes enumerating all the police department’s evidence against me. And when I hear it all laid out for me like that, it sounds bad. If I were some neutral third party listening to everything Frisch was saying, I’d be thinking to myself, That woman is definitely guilty. Lock her up—throw away the key.

The whole time I was listening to Frisch, my heart was thumping wildly in my chest. It actually made it a bit hard to hear him for stretches of time. To my right, my husband Sam is slumped in his chair, a glassy look in his eyes. Sam was the one who hired Frisch. He’s your best chance, Abby, he told me.

So if he can’t help me, that means I have no chance.

“It’s all circumstantial evidence,” I say, even though I’m not certain that’s the case or even exactly what circumstantial evidence is. But I know one thing: “I didn’t do it.”

Frisch lets out an extended sigh and folds his arms across his chest. “You have to understand that if this goes to court, you’re going to be convicted.”

If this goes to court?”

“I’d recommend a plea bargain,” he says. “When they arrest you—”

I imagine the police showing up at my door, snapping metal cuffs on my wrists. Reading me my rights. You have the right to remain silent. Is that something they really say in real life? I don’t want to find out.

If they arrest me,” I correct him.

Frisch gives me a look like I’m out of my mind. He’s been a criminal attorney for nearly thirty years. One of the best. You can tell how successful he is by the leather sofa pushed up against the wall and the mahogany desk where he’s got a photo of himself shaking the hand of Barack Obama. I’ve got money, but the length of a full trial might bleed us dry.

“Second degree murder is fifteen years to life,” Frisch says. “Whereas for Murder One, you could get life without possibility of parole. If you plea down to Murder Two—”

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Book!!!!!

So after taking a bit of a hiatus, I wanted to let everyone know that I have published a new novel, The Surrogate Mother:

This one is a pure thriller. But it’s a thriller with a sense of humor!  I was trying to write the sort of book that you had to finish in one day because you can’t put it down. There's a name for that sort of book, but I can't remember what it is.  Unabletostopreadingable, I think.

Please check it out!  I usually price my thrillers at $3.99 but I’m going to keep it at $2.99 for the first few weeks.

Monday, October 8, 2018

middle aged

From a discharge summary:

"Patient is a 37-year-old middle-aged man..."

I was horrified to read that!  37 is NOT middle-aged!

Although then I told this to my husband and he argued that 37 very well might be the middle of your life.  And it's almost definitely the middle of your productive life.

But I also feel like for someone with a career that requires education, the 40s should be the peak of your career.  And as someone who is nearing that point, it's a lot of pressure.  Maybe it would be better to be middle-aged now...

Friday, September 28, 2018

Starting over

So I recently moved and have had to go through the process of meeting all new people again.

It’s so hard!

I am constantly approaching new parents at the playground and introducing myself, but I still feel like I am begging when I try to make a play date. It’s especially hard for me because I am not naturally outgoing.

Has anyone gone through this process recently? It’s really depressing to have to start over again.

Monday, September 17, 2018

What a shame

I was recently advocating for a young patient who had been hit by a car to get more time in rehab.  I was talking to the insurance company, and the second I got on the line, it was really clear they didn't want to hear anything I had to say.  (Honestly, does it EVER work to advocate on the phone?  Because whenever I talk to anyone, they already know everything in the notes, and they've already decided on a hard no.  And repeating my arguments just ends up with a heated discussion.)

In this case, it was especially frustrating because the patient was, as I said, fairly young and really could have benefited from the extra time.  I said to the reviewer, "It's really a shame he can't get more time because if he had another week, he could get home independently."

The response of the reviewer: "Well, it was a shame he got hit by a car."

Me: "..."

I mean, what do you SAY to something like that?  Sometimes I want to say to them that I hope they have a better insurance than the company they work for.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

You suck, Shutterfly

When you've got kids, the tendency is to want to take a million photos of them.  And this can quickly get out of hand.

So since my younger daughter was born, I've been diligently making a hardcover photo book on Shutterfly every six months, so I have the photos organized.  And the photobooks are so small, so far they only take up a quarter of a shelf in my bookcase.

Lately, I've been noticing Shutterfly gives you more and more options when you make a photo album.  Like you have the option to have pages that lay flat or a special cover or whatever.  But this time, there was a new option that sort of pissed me off:

Basically, they are giving you the option to remove their crappy logo from the book and it costs TEN DOLLARS.  To remove a tiny logo.  I like how they mention that without their logo, the book has a "clean, sophisticated look."  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Paint job

Lately, I feel like every time I deal with people, I hate all of humanity.

We recently moved out of an apartment where we had lived for eight years.  During that time, we never got a paint job.  So I assumed any damage to the paint on the wall would be something we wouldn't be responsible for, given places need to be painted more frequently than that.

So I was really surprised when we got a bill for $140 for painting the apartment from the giant company that owns our complex.

When I called, they complained that there were stickers on the wall that were "difficult to remove" and had to be sanded off.  I find it really hard to believe that a child's sticker required more than soap and water, but whatever.  I didn't even think of it.  Then they complained there was some crayon on the wall, so the whole place had to be repainted.  I said that in eight years, weren't we entitled to ONE free paint job?  They said no, that they expected the walls to be in the condition they were when we entered eight years ago, except for "minor touch ups." 

Also, we paid to have the apartment professionally cleaned when we left, but I forgot to tell her to clean the fridge.  So we got a bill for $130 for cleaning of the fridge and oven.  Except the oven is self-cleaning.  So it's $130 to clean a fridge apparently.  I should get a job cleaning refrigerators.

Then they told us like they were being so nice to us that we didn't have to pay for them to replace the carpet, which wasn't even new when we moved in.

I mean, it's not a huge amount of money but it's the principle of the thing.  We lived there eight years.  I feel like we're entitled to one paint job, for god's sake.