Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I actually jumped for joy in a patient's room the other day on rounds, because they informed me they had passed gas. And they found this not the least bit strange.

Something We Take For Granted: Passing gas.

Every day I watch my hospitalized patients struggle to do basic things. For instance, sitting up in bed can take an eternity and require the firing up of every mitochondria they possess. Getting from the bed to the commode or doing a lap around the medical floor block while the physical therapist walks alongside averting disaster brings us into superstar territory.

SWTFG: Being able to sit up, go to the toilet, and walk around the block.

This week, my family of 5 is without a washing machine. It died, as we all must some day. Sears will not be able to complete the cycle of life with a new machine for another week. Well hello, laundromat! First of all, when did it start costing $3.75 to do a load of wash? At least it gives us the opportunity to teach our oldest teenager, soon off to college, the logistics of coin-operated clothes washing. Her opinion thus far: "Fun! Like an arcade!"

SWTFG: Modern appliances.

I ran 12 miles fairly briskly today. I missed running the 2 days prior, due to unforeseen work stuff. Today felt good and bad. Good, because I was out there doing it, and got to see my old friend the Pacific Ocean. Bad, because I have been working a lot and therefore feeling a little tired and sorry for myself. Also cranky that my planned long run on Sunday was trumped by work.

SWTFG: Being able to run 12 miles by the ocean at a fairly brisk pace.
S else WTFG: Having gainful employment which is also interesting and often enjoyable.

The other day, my dog Miles discovered the birds in our yard. He has been with us for 2 years, and I am not exactly sure what took him so long, but it was a sweet moment for him. He spent an entire morning watching them, while also whining, crying and occasionally barking. He was obsessed and not unpleasantly so.

SWTFG: Our dogs' ability to find joy in almost anything at all.
S else WTFG: The birds in our yard.

Miles and Bird(s), March 2013

I have read about a doctor who gives his marathon medals to patients.. I get this, and have found myself giving my own patients pep talks when they are struggling and working so hard to get better. Especially when they are really downhearted about how hard it feels to sit up in bed, get to the commode, or to walk the block around the floor. "What you are doing is like running a marathon." Just take it a step at a time, and you will get there. One day at a time.

Not a minute taken for granted.