Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reflection on a Tuesday: Joy Always

Today I
  • Gave a lecture for the Emory Board Review Program at the crickety-crack o' dawn
  • Almost overslept for the lecture that I was supposed to be giving at the crickety-crack o' dawn, but thankfully, was jolted out of a deep, deep, good, good sleep by my pager.
  • Realized that the reason I almost overslept was because my two human alarm clocks were sleeping over at their grandma's house. (Thanks, Toonces!)
  • Realized (the minute I pulled into the Grady parking garage) that the heels I'd worn to give my lecture would render me unable to walk by the end of rounds. (O. . .M. . . .G. .)
  • Realized that I'd left another pair of low heels in the back of my trunk from the last time I'd snuck off for a post-work pedicure. (Hallelujah for having a junky car!)
  • Joined my team for post long call rounds wearing comfy shoes from my trunk.
  • Made my team walk up five flights of stairs because of my comfy shoes.
  • Congratulated a patient for abstaining from crack cocaine for 8 and a half months
  • Said a quick prayer to myself that she would stay off of cocaine for 8 and a half more months
  • Realized that this patient and I are both the same exact age and are both black women, and wondered what my life would have been like if I had gotten addicted to crack, too
  • Saw a patient playing herself in Scrabble. I asked her, "Who's winning?" to which she answered, "Chile, Me!" We all laughed out loud.
  • Asked the same patient if she was trashtalking while playing herself. She said, "Oh yeah! You always trashtalk when you play scrabble, even by yourself!" Nice!
  • Had lunch with my friend Ildefonso, his wife Lourdes, and my other friend, Tammy at the Sweet Auburn market
  • Picked up a "stray" medical student after lunch and had him join the rest of my rounds today. He actually looked lost.
  • Asked a patient about alcohol use, and consoled her when, instead of answering me she started crying
  • Massaged a knot out of my patient's back (upon her request.) Wondered for two seconds if I should, but then realized that as sick as my elderly patient was, it was the least I could do.
  • Said hi to a five year old little boy who was visiting his great-grandmother in the hospital. He asked me, "Do you be on TV?"
  • Gave one of my favorite social workers a big hug and told her I was glad to see her
  • Sent my husband two text messages during the day that said, "I love you so."
  • Received two text messages from my husband that said, "Me too. :)" and "Me too!"
  • Told a patient that he has something that could be a cancer
  • Realized that he didn't understand
  • Realized that he had not gone past second grade and couldn't read or understand most of the things we talked about related to his condition
  • Realized that even if he had gone past second grade, after living over eighty years in perfect peace he might not want to understand
  • Gave a medical student a fist bump for doing a good job
  • Felt pretty when one of my senior patients told me I looked like Halle Berry.
  • Realized that she had Alzheimer's dementia, but decided that I would ignore her cognitive disability when it came to thinking that I was the doppelganger of the world's hottest woman.
  • Sat in my office for a few moments and drank some TAZO Green Ginger tea before leaving. (Aaaaaah. . . . )
  • Reflected on my day for a few moments.
  • Wished my thirty-nine year old patient had never tried crack and never got infected with HIV
  • Wished the other three patients I'd met today who used crack had never tried it either.
  • Prayed for every person who has had their life ruined by crack cocaine
  • Received two thank you cards. . .one from a medical student and another from the daughter of a deceased patient
  • Closed my eyes and felt a moment of joy. . . .
  • Remembered one of my patients from last year who told me, "Don't never let nothing steal your joy" -- and smiled.
  • Gave myself a fist bump for doing a good job or at least trying to.
  • Sent Harry another text message that said, "I love you again."
  • Reply: "Me too ... again."
  • Decided I would drive home saying over and over to myself in my head. . . Joy always. . .Joy always. . . Joy always. . . .


  1. Sounds like a pretty typical day in the life of a clinician-educator! Thanks for pointing out the little bits of joy and hope along the way.

  2. Grandma's Tuesday Reflections . . .
    Woke up at the crickety-crack of dawn (6:45 am!) after sleeping (?) with three grandchildren and two small dogs;
    Told the kids (all awake and energetic) that I didn't want to get up because I was exhausted;
    Explained "exhausted" to Isaiah and Zachary;
    Got up anyway;
    Let the dogs out when we all came downstairs;
    Watched my 7 year old granddaughter make "panny-cakes" (She's a Bisquick expert!);
    Watched Olivia, Isaiah, and Zachary devour the pancakes;
    Laughed at the dogs who hovered around the table waiting for someone to drop a morsel of food on the floor (No such luck);
    Watched the glass of soy milk that Zachary had set on the edge of the table tumble to the floor, splashing milk everywhere;
    Watched Olivia get the mop to clean up the mess;
    Watched the mop handle hit Olivia's glass and send her glass of milk crashing to the floor as well (Oh, my!);
    Watched the dogs lap up as much milk as they could before we cleaned it all up;
    Put everyone in the car in their pajamas and took Olivia home (up the street) so she could go to Six Flags with a friend;
    Came home with the boys, brushed teeth, dressed, and watched them play together;
    Decided that boys are born with a genetic code that causes them to play rougher than girls (karate kicks, anyone?);
    Listened to Zachary complain about some injustice and cry for his daddy, Harry;
    Thought about how great it is to have a daddy that you can cry out for because you know he always has your back;
    Made lunch;
    Went upstairs with the boys for a nap;
    Laughed when Zachary said he was "zausted";
    Crept downstairs after Isaiah and Zachary fell asleep;
    Enjoyed some peace and quiet while I had the chance;
    Proudly responded to an email from my son, Will (He has been selected as a Five Star Veterinarian by Atlanta Magazine);
    Talked to my oldest daughter, Deanna, and her friend when they came over;
    Talked to my oldest grandson, David, when he came to take my trash can out to the curb (How sweet is that?!);
    Talked to the boys' mom, Kimberly, when she came to pick them up;
    Talked to Olivia when her friend dropped her off at my house;
    Talked to Olivia's mom, Fran, and my other two granddaughters, Tyler and Gabrielle, when they came to pick her up;
    Sent my youngest daughter, JoLai, (She lives in CA) a message telling her how much I love and miss her;
    Talked to Tony Draper about our fabulous kids and grandkids;
    Talked to my 88 year-old mom, Ernestine, who's learning how to use a DVR;
    Thought about how great it is to have a mom that is still willing and able to learn new things;
    Talked to a friend (who I went to elementary school with) and made plans to meet for lunch next week;
    Made sure the dogs went outside for one last time;
    Went upstairs with the two dogs to get ready for bed;
    Thought that this has been a perfect day;
    Went to sleep, thankful - as always - for a wonderful, joyous life!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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