Thursday, August 25, 2005

audience participation

Thanks to all for the input and reassurances regarding the last post. I'm still a neophyte at all this, just trying to feel my way around and figure out what works, what doesn't. One piece of advice that I got in particular is that I'm just plain foolish to dump perfectly good milkstuffs just because it's been in the fridge more than 3 days--that I should either freeze said milkstuffs or keep it in the fridge until it damn near has maggots crawling out of it, because YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT UNFORESEEN THINGS MIGHT HAPPEN. Suggestions noted. I'm going to start storing freezer milk in these bags, though, because if I keep freezing the bottles straight, soon I'm not going to have any bottles left to pump into, and THEN where would we be? Chaos! Madness! Dogs and cats living together!

Yes well, anyway...thanks.

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I realize that obviously, in the past month or so, I've been talking a lot about baby stuff, because that's what I've been doing with my time. This is interesting to some, less interesting to others, or at least I assume. I also know that I am terrible--TERRIBLE--at answering e-mails from readers. If you have e-mailed me and not received a reply, you know this. It's not that I'm being mean, or that I think you're a scary stalker, or that I just don't care, because believe me, it means a lot to me that you not only read this page but take the time to actually write to me and tell me that you enjoy it--it's just that I'm really a terrible, lazy e-mail person. I let e-mails pile up on me until they avalanche down and bury each other, and then I start the pile anew. You know this. TERRIBLE e-mailer.

I apologize especially to those of you (and there are many) that e-mail me looking for career advice. I feel for you because I know what it's like to be a young person in medicine struggling under duress to find That One Thing that you want to do with the rest of your life. I have a hard time sometimes responding to your e-mails too, not only because of my problem (see above) but because it's so hard to give career advice when you're just one person with one set of very specific experiences, and you're giving advice to someone that you don't really know. To you career-askers, if I haven't returned your e-mails, I'm really sorry. You know I have the love for you! Maybe what I'll do sometime is set up some kind of a forum or bulletin board (all old skool) so that we can have categories for posting specific questions or issues, and the whole community here can pitch in panel-discussion style, and we can harness all our collective experiences in medicine, parenthood, urban living, what have you. I'm sure there are older (well, not necessarily older, I guess) more experienced doctors/parents/urbanites than me that we could all learn from.

One piece of general advice that I can give to the career-angsters now is this: don't stress too too much, because medicine is more fluid than you think. Sure, it would be ideal to know exactly what you're going into right from the get-go so you don't waste any precious time (and so, let's face it, you can finish residency and fellowship as expeditiously as possible and actually start making some money and having a life), but many many MANY people change their minds midstream. And I'm just talking about myself, even though I count myself as one of the people who not quite changed her mind in the middle of her training, rather refined what it was that she wanted to do within that training. So don't feel like you're under so much pressure to lock yourself into a field forever and ever. If you find that you don't like what you're doing, don't worry--it's not jail. Well...maybe sometimes it's kind of like jail, but a really liberal jail that lets you go on furlough often and switch penitentiaries if you don't like the one you're currently in.

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So anyway, what I was trying to say before I got all sidetracked was--sock it to me. I'm sure that after this Month of Babyness, there are plenty of topics that you would rather I talk about, or stories that you wish I would tell, so I'm opening myself up to suggestions. What do you want me to tell you? Lore from my days in high school or college? The tale of how Joe and I met? The story of my disastrous sixth grade prepubescent affaire d'amour (which one reader noted that I still haven't shared yet, though I promised to almost five years ago)? The Legend of Bagger Vance? Post in the comments section--I'll pick a few and we'll get some fresh, non-baby air up in here. Just remember the rules: nothing too specific about patients or the hospital or anything like that. Mommy still needs to be gainfully employed so that she can bring home the bacon. Or at least the Baco Bits, since I don't make that much money, and paying 50% of this household's take-home pay for the nanny is KILLING US.

Yes, away.

Currently reading: "My Life." I am unashamed to admit that I have kind of a crush on Bill Clinton, so charismatic and intelligent is he. Sounds like he was kind of a dork as a kid, though. He actually went to band camp!

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