Sunday, November 21, 2010

O Tannenbaum.

How lovely are thy branches. . . .
This weekend I:
  •  Looked at the Calendar and felt bummed that I have to work at Grady on Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. (Bleccchh.)
  • Looked at the calendar and couldn't believe that it was already time to be thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
  • Played hide and seek with Isaiah and Zachary on Saturday morning.
  • Thought about my friend Davina and her son, C.J.
  • Went to a baby blessing for my med school classmate-slash-ob/gyn Tracey's super cute twin sons.

  • Went to CNN to do a segment on avoiding colds over the holidays (even though I was majorly feeling like I was coming down with something while doing it. . . . )
  •  Officially came down with a nasty head cold. (Ha.)
  • Wondered why people, even doctors like me, refer to colds as "head colds." 
  • Went out to dinner (despite my nasty head cold) with one of my favorite people/college sorority sisters/bffs whose name, "Joy," fits her perfectly.
  • Felt bad when Isaiah started crying and asking me not to go out before leaving to meet Joy.
  • Felt better after explaining to him that "Mommies need playdates, too"-- which he seemed to actually get.
  • Commented to myself that I couldn't believe that so many Christmas decorations were up already while driving to the restaurant.
  • Toasted with Joy, who had made it out of the house from her hubby and two sons, to "being grown" over a delicious red wine blend before dinner.
  • Laughed when I told Joy about how Harry says that at a certain age (our age), all moms call "red wine with a girlfriend" their idea of a par-tay. (Totally true.)
  • Kept talking nonstop with Joy over our red wine so much that the server had to come back three times. (Oh, those Mommy playdates!)
  • Split a steak salad with Joy, who unfortunately preferred "medium" to my "somewhere between medium rare and medium."
  • Felt my mouth watering when the steak on the salad arrived more "medium rare" than "medium."
  • Was openly happy when Joy said she didn't want to send it back after my wimpy offer to do so. (Told you she was a "joy.")
  • Came home and held Harry's hand for a little while before zonking out on Saturday.
  • Woke up feeling like my head was stuffed with cotton balls and like my nose was a leaky faucet.
  • Decided that this was why people say "head cold."
  • Ate a breakfast that I could barely taste.
  • Rubbed my nose completely raw with paper towels (since I was out of Kleenex and it was the closest thing in the kitchen.)
  • Dragged into Grady to round with a nose that looked exactly like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.
  • Heard a nurse tell me that my nose "looks exactly like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer."
  • Heard a patient tell me that my nose "looks like that cartoon character on the Puffs Plus commercial."
  • Heard another patient ask me "Did you wash yo' hands? Cawse you sho' look sick."
  • Wore a mask on rounds after that last comment--which I hate doing since it feels like I'm less connected to patients that way.
  • Decided that masks also make my nose run even more which, if the patients could see, they'd realize is much, much grosser than hearing me sniffle. Much.
  • Sat next to a patient and helped her do Word Finds while she took chemotherapy.
  • Scratched another patient's back.
  • Ran out of a patient's room mid-sentence due to a coughing paroxysm that I was about to have.
  • Went to visit one of my favorite Grady elder patients of all time (aka an "F.P. all-star") after running into her daughter during my coughing paroxysm. 
  • Felt touched when her daughter said to me in the hallway, "Momma was just asking about you, Dr. Mannings!"
  • Felt warm inside when I went to see the patient and she squeezed my hand tight and then kissed the back of it saying, "Hey, baby! I was jest asking about you."
  • Talked to the patient about Thanksgiving and Christmas, and about our favorite Christmas songs.
  • Downloaded and played her favorite Christmas song for her right there on the spot--Nat King Cole singing "O Tannenbaum." (Go iTunes.)
  • Stood quietly at the bedside holding my iPhone with an outstretched arm for the entire song even though I had eight more patients to see, was feeling sick, and needed to get back to rounding.
  • Forgot how sick I felt when I saw her start crying with closed eyes listening to "O Tannenbaum" coming from my iPhone.
  • Forgot how sick I felt when I saw her daughter start crying while watching her mom crying while listening to "O Tannenbaum" coming from my iPhone.
  • Decided that Nat King Cole's slow and controlled voice was a good reminder for me to slow down.
  • Hugged a nurse who gave me a box of tissues to keep in my pocket.
  • Thanked a patient for trusting me to take care of her after she told me that she'd asked the ambulance to "Please take her to Grady Hospital."
  • Quietly vowed to not let her down.
  • Talked to a resident about how dressing professionally helps patients feel more confident in their doctors.
  • Listened to the resident as she tried to explain otherwise.
  • Asked if she could please "Do it for me until she reached the point of wanting to do it for her patients."
  • Got confused while trying to enter my notes onto the electronic medical record.
  • Heard Nat King Cole in my head again and remembered to slow down.
  • Left the hospital and, even though I felt sick, decided to skip to my car.
  • Remembered that I'd had excellent parking lot karma while standing at the elevator, and then skipped to my ground level parking space.
  • Stopped at Panera to get some chicken noodle soup for my head cold and my soul.
  • Came home to an empty house.
  • Fell asleep on the couch with all of my clothes on before I could even eat the soup.
  • Felt appreciative when Harry continued to hold down the kid fort while I slept.
  • Thought about the fact that I have to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas this year while eating my reheated chicken soup.
  • Thought about what some of my patients might be dealing with on Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
  • Decided that I was more okay with it than not okay with it this year.
  • Felt thankful to have a job at Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
  • Felt thankful to have a job that I love at Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
  • Ate gingerbread men cookies with the kids.
  • Thought about my friend Davina and her son C.J. again.
  • Prayed.
  • Downloaded the rest of the Nat King Cole Christmas album and listened to the whole thing.
  • Listened to "O Tannenbaum" twice. . . .
  • This time, I cried a little bit, too.

Slow down and listen to this. . . . .happy holiday season. . . .


    1. I keep typing and backspacing (trying not to sound too saccharine), but you are an inspiring and beautiful person and there is just no other way of saying that. Not to mention that you have great style and impeccable taste in shoes. ;)

      Hopefully you are feeling much better already.

    2. that's so kind,anush. . .i so appreciate your thoughtful comments and you reading.

      am feeling better though can't sleep and still look like rudolph! :)

    3. I understand. You got the sensitivity from your dad. But I still think you resistance to Facebook is about being different? Smile. It's a great tool for someone with your future.


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

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