I have pain: a vent

I have been suffering. I mean, more than usual. I know I'm always suffering a little, but lately, it's been worse. I have pain. I have chronic pain and also, I have compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue, or my version of it, is when you sit in the exam room and a patient with a legitimate … Continue reading I have pain: a vent

Mom confessions: 6 things I do wrong ALL the time

I gotta be honest with you, folks, I think parenting has gotten pretty darn ridiculous.  No one can do everything that you're supposed to do to raise well-adjusted and healthy children.  NO ONE.  I'm taking a stand.  I need to unburden my soul.  I am hereby confessing all the things I am doing wrong. 1. … Continue reading Mom confessions: 6 things I do wrong ALL the time

Human to human: when doctoring hurts

As physicians, we have to become relatively hardened to the misfortunes of others because if we don't, we will fall apart.  There is a Ray Bradbury story about the being who would morph into whoever the person next to him lost in order to make them happy and restore what they've lost; eventually, too many … Continue reading Human to human: when doctoring hurts

A pain in the neck: a story of a bad day

Doctor mommy is super duper unhappy today in many different ways, bodily and emotionally, for various reasons.  Last night was high on the craptastic scale as far as nights go, even though it was a decent weekend... until last night. As parents, we he had to face the ever difficult decision of when to take … Continue reading A pain in the neck: a story of a bad day

It takes a village: Christmas time in the Basque country

What exactly is a pueblo remains a difficult concept to explain to those who don't see it for themselves.  A pueblo is a village, or a town, but rather than a strict geographical definition, it's more of a way to describe a community.  Also, it's a people or the people.  The word also carries with it a … Continue reading It takes a village: Christmas time in the Basque country

Why the Basques don’t need Santa Claus

December 25, 2007   As an outsider looking onto what is completely routine and normal in the town of Portugalete, of Bizkaia, País Vasco, España, I note things to myself that people here take for absolute granted. For example, I am constantly aware of the ethnic pride-slash-mild superiority complex that perfumes the air. I get … Continue reading Why the Basques don’t need Santa Claus

My first Thanksgiving

Once in a while, I meet an innocent ignoramus who'll ask me with a straight face: "do they celebrate Thanksgiving in Russia?" I usually reply, "Well, it's a holiday that started because people wanted to celebrate the Pilgrims arriving in America, so... no.  No Native Americans in, you know, Russia." Russian immigrants like us celebrate … Continue reading My first Thanksgiving

How to save a life

A patient came into the office a few weeks ago, and tearfully thanked me for saving his life. I am not bragging. It's just that a patient thanking you happens really rarely; much more rarely than "you are doing nothing for me," and "I waited too long to see you," and other complaints.  So when … Continue reading How to save a life

Mommy guilt: the struggle is real

One of the first things I did when I got a job that paid money was hire a cleaning lady.  It was a given that I would, since I hate housework, and am no good at it.  I actually suck pretty hard at it. As time went on, I outsourced more and more stuff.  Some … Continue reading Mommy guilt: the struggle is real