Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Na, na, na. . .gonna have a good time!

And I'm gonna sing a song for you
And this is gonna show you
A thing or two
You'll have some fun now
With me and the gang
Learning from each other
While we do our thang

Na, na, na
Gonna have a good time
Na, na, na
Gonna have a good time
Hey, hey, hey!

~ from The Fat Albert Show theme song

Whelp. It's official. Our trick or treat outing for 2012 was a hit. Lots of fun with me and the gang. Learning about some interesting costumes. (While we did our thang.)

Okay. If you immediately recognize that Zachary is "Spidermonkey" from the Ben 10 cartoon, then clearly you have male children under the age of seven. Or nephews. Or you need to grow up.

And Isaiah? He's "Swampfire." Yes. Another character from Ben 10. Have I mentioned? There needs to be a PhD for Ben 10 characters, Star Wars, and Marvel Comics. Not. Even. Kidding.

Quick take a guess what these two were!  How cute is it that they were "pigs in blankets?"  I almost doused them with some syrup and stuck a fork in them. Wait. Eew. That sounds kind of weird.

Well, this little fella looked like an upstanding jack-o-lantern, wouldn't you say?

Some kids dressed as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Pic sent to me by my sister, JoLai.

The old school Cosby Kids? Seriously?Seriously.

Funniest. Thing. Ever.


I would totally have gotten Yolanda to join in with me to do this with our kids. Except for one problem. The only people that will get this immediately and ROTFL are black folks born between 1965 and 1975. (And a very small number of very, retro-culturally competent non-blacks.)

Otherwise it would be met with:


Zachary's face at all houses with peanut-based candy. He has an alleged peanut allergy (according to a blood test that keeps saying so even though his encounters with it suggest otherwise.) He kept hitting them with these really exaggerated, "THANK YOU, ANYWAY" salutations. Much emphasis on the "anyway."

Then he'd lament to me. "Mommy, so many kids don't eat peanuts. Why would somebody just keep on getting things with nuts? What about the kids like me?"

I said, "They don't care about you. They only care about what's on sale at CVS pharmacy five minutes before their doorbell starts ringing."

(Juuuuust kidding. I didn't really say that. Gosh, y'all! Relax!)

My med school classmate and fellow Grady doctor (Yolanda W. from Morehouse School of Medicine) came over with her family to trick or treat with us. We had a whole bunch of fun together, too! Hey, hey, hey!

Isaiah alerted me that this house has "real decorations." Unlike ours which include a pumpkin sitting on the table and nothing else.

Little Reggie was all smiles.

And Ryan won the "please and thank you" contest. I think that girls are wired for more pleases and thank yous.

Omega guys never miss an opportunity to show their frat spirit.

This costume was creepy-funny. So I took a picture with him.

But then he refused to talk. Like, not even kidding. He just walked around waving. So it just became creepy only.

But not to Reggie. To him it was funny.

Me? I shall have a nightmare about him tonight. Bet on it.

This was taken at the point where Zachary was wanting to "just eat some candy and get in the bed." Yolanda and I agreed that mommies feel that way, too, sometimes.

Swampfire was no ways tired.

That leap was AFTER we had finished trick or treating. I think he may have eaten some candy without me looking.

This picture makes me imagine the twins clinging together in the womb. So cute.

Zachary is still pissed about the peanut situation on this picture. Isaiah is celebrating because he is scoring all of the nut-based items from Zachary's stack. Little do they know that I will put all of it away tonight and ration it like they're in a penitentiary come tomorrow.

The Queen of Hearts kept the boys in line. She was pleased with her candy treasure.

The candy was sweet. But the memories were sweeter.

Oh, before I forget.

Funniest moment of the evening: 

Reaching across the aisle . . . for some candy.

We went up to one home that had a Romney sign in the yard. I braced myself because I KNEW that Isaiah would recognize it and then say something about it.

Kids: "Trick or treat!"

Man:  "Well, hello there kids! Great costumes!"

Kids:  *assorted thank yous as they pick two pieces of candy*

Man:  "And what are you?"

Isaiah:  "I'm Swampfire from Ben 10."

Man: "Great costume!"

Isaiah:  "Thank you!"

Kids all wave and start walking away. That's when Isaiah stops and looks closely at the sign. And when I began to cringe.

Wait for it. . . .wait for it. . .

Isaiah:  Turns back to Man. "You're rooting for Mitt Romney? Really?" Turns to me. "Mommy! Look. He's going for Mitt Romney. See? Do you see his sign?" Turns back to man.  "We're not going for Mitt Romney."

Man:  "Uhh. . .okay."

Isaiah:  "Excuse me, sir. How come you're not going for O--"

Me:  "Ooooo-key dokey! Thanks so much, sir! 'Preciate you!"

*pulling Isaiah out of the driveway and to the next house*

Isaiah:  "Mommy, do like. . . a whole bunch of people root for Romney-Ryan and we just don't know them?"

Me:  "Uhhh, can we talk about this later? Like when you get. . .say. . . around eighteen or so?"

 Seriously? Seriously

Whelp. That was ours.

Hope yours was a good time, too. . . . and bipartisan. Heh.

Happy Halloween.

And, of course, on the mental iPod which brings back the era when I was trick or treating as a kid. . . 

Because I'm a good sport, man.

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Because "love" should be a verb and "retard" should never be a noun.

The room was filled with people. Seats all forward and facing the hanging screen that displayed the image from the LCD player. A youngish man stood at the front of the room, white coat starched to perfection, a tie that most certainly had the name of some fancy designer on the back, and shoes that appeared to be spit shined. Even though he lacked the grey hair of the endowed professors, he had the look that holds the attention of medical colleagues. Professionalism personified.

But beyond that, he knew what he was talking about, too. His slides were well done and cited all of the resources for the topic of discussion. For the majority of the presentation he wasn't even looking at the screen at all; he knew his stuff that well. And he was cool. No shaking hands or nervous throat clearing. Just one youngish doctor-dude standing at the front of the room with closely clipped nails gripped around a laser pointer. And this doctor-dude? He knew his stuff.

I, being a person who is enamored by excellent public speakers, felt myself wavering between actually listening to what he was teaching and how he was doing it. The clean slides with the clear diagrams. The cadence of his voice and the way he interacted with the audience. And then there was his chosen topic--an area that happened to be his expertise as well as one that is high yield for all of us. Not only was I learning something, I was enjoying it at the same time.

But then something happened. He turned a slide and things weren't configured as he'd expected. Of course, he was still cool as a fan. After trying to talk through the disjointed words and images any way, finally he stopped and knitted his brow in frustration. Then he said this:

"Sorry about that, guys. I prepared this on a Mac and these PCs can be so retarded when it comes to going between PowerPoint for Mac and Windows."

A few people chuckled in acknowledgment. The talk had been so good up until that point that no one seemed bothered.

"I'll move past that slide," he said with a shrug of his shoulders, "Sorry -- I should have checked compatibility before. I'm such a retard sometimes."

A ripple of gentle chuckles went through the room. And that was that.

The rest of his slides were fine, I guess, because I don't remember much else. Everything after that for me was just white noise.

In 2009, I helped lead a writing workshop with a group of colleagues at the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) national meeting. The session was called "Writing and the Art of Medicine: From Personal Reflection to Publication" and included a breakout session where we actually spent time writing narratives. It was really well attended and I remember being pleasantly surprised by the number of people sitting at the round table with me during our breakout.

The task was simple. "I will give you a sheet of paper. You will write -- longhand -- for ten minutes about a pivotal moment or critical incident you've experienced that has taught you, moved you, or simply made you think. We will then share a few of the ones you've written." Straightforward enough, yes?

I recall that there were many beautifully written pieces. Important topics that we all, as physicians and medical students, could feel resonating in our souls. But there is only one narrative that I remember in full detail. Only one. The story was simple, really. It was written by a young woman who was a resident at the time and she'd spent her ten minutes describing two very clear images.

The first was her interactions with her nephew, to whom she appeared to be very, very close. As it turns out, he was born with an additional copy of chromosome #21 which most people recognize when they see. That's because trisomy 21 is the chromosomal abnormality responsible for Down Syndrome. Yes. Her nephew had some developmental delays and some mild to moderate mental retardation. But that's not what she described. Instead she painted a picture for us of him running recklessly on the front lawn chasing bubbles. Of him tackling her and covering her with his sloppy kisses. And of how much he loved classical music. So much so that whenever he heard it, he'd stop, close his eyes, and wave his fingers like a maestro.

Then she went to another scenario. Her in the hospital working on a ward team. The lab system had gone down for the day and her resident declared the system "retarded." Her co-intern had left his stethoscope on another floor and dubbed himself "a retard" for doing so. And the list went on. According to her, it had become the slang word of the month for that team. Anything imperfect or dysfunctional was referred to as "retarded." And the funny medical student with his perfect comic timing? He was "such a retard." But in the nicest, most endearing way, of course.

So she read her words in her quiet voice and I swear to you that you could have heard a pin drop. And at the end she simply told us that she never got around to saying how much that word stung each time she heard it from their mouths. How awful it made her feel to know that her nephew's life would be just a little bit harder because of that word. I never, ever forgot that.

I will admit that before that fateful moment in 2009, I'd never really "heard" that word. Surely I'd heard it at some point, but it had never created a nails-on-chalkboard effect for me or a visceral response in me either. But her words? They opened my eyes to something that I'd never thought about. An aspect of "the other side" that our patients and their families and their friends experience that even the ones that are supposed to be allies have completely overlooked.


So that man with his perfect PowerPoint presentation and his spectacularly white coat should have been an ally. But he hadn't heard that word either. And from the response he got from everyone in the room, it was business as usual. Which tells me that the majority sitting under his voice hadn't really learned to "hear" the word "retard" like that young resident writer had taught our breakout group to hear it that day.

(photo courtesy of Elizabeth Aquino)

My friend Elizabeth recently posted a photograph of her son, Oliver, speaking at "No Name-Calling Week" in 2010 at his school. I have posted that image above because seeing his young face holding that sign immediately brought me to tears. Just look at him. So brave. . .with that microphone in his face educating what was probably the entire student body. His sister, Sophie, has some special needs and also a severe form of epilepsy. But just like that sweet boy who was chasing bubbles, conducting music with this two index fingers, and freely giving out juicy kisses, there is more to Sophie than her disabilities. So, so much more.

See? Oliver knows that for sure. He lives it and breathes it. So he held that sign and shared his testimony because, for him and Sophie and his brother and his mother and every person who knows and loves Sophie, those words hit like a fist. I am thankful for him and for that picture because now, it hits like a fist for me, too.

Maybe from now on, it will for you, too.

I would make this a jumping point to reference that woman Ann Coulter who sent that tweet during the last presidential debate. You know -- the one that commended Governor Romney for going easy on "the retard." Or being polite or whatever the hell she said. Yeah. I would start unpacking about all of that, but some part of me wants to believe that perhaps she had not yet "heard" this word either.

That or I just don't have the energy to waste on that.

After that lecture, I pulled that colleague aside. I told him about the little boy with the bubbles and paid that story forward on behalf of his aunt. Even though I didn't know Elizabeth and her family back then, I suppose I paid it forward for them, too. In my least judging voice, I shared how that story had opened my eyes. I told him how much I had enjoyed his talk but that his use of the word "retarded" and then "retard" was hurtful and probably not the very best choice.

And you know what? That highly professional physician speaker put his hand on his chest and apologized. He didn't even realize that he'd said that word. And especially felt mortified that he'd said it not once but twice. And I said, "I totally understand because I hadn't really heard that word like that either but now that I do, it hurts to hear." He got it and thanked me. And I thanked him right back for being so understanding.

Today, I say thank you to that young woman whose first name -- Thalia -- I still remember. I have no idea where she is, but she changed me that day. I also say thank you to Oliver and Elizabeth, too. I am grateful to them for helping me to see that if we are going to commit ourselves to making love a verb, then retard should never be a noun.

Or a joke.

From here forward, I hope you'll hear that word differently, too.

That's all I've got for today.

Happy Tuesday.

Well. Google is an amazing thing, y'all. I found a piece of Thalia's writing from an essay contest she won as a medical student in 2003. Read it here. It also turns out that Google can also help you find out where someone is now.  This remarkable young woman is now a clinician educator on the Internal Medicine faculty at one of the Harvard hospitals. No surprise to hear that! I hope she's still telling that story. . . 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Haiku.

Sandy hit Georgia
Blew Obama off my lawn
stormy agenda

Music Lyric Monday: Never Say Never.

Never Say Never

Never say never (never never never)

You see I never thought that I could walk through fire

I never thought that I could take a burn
I never had the strength to take it higher
Until I reached the point of no return

And there's just no turnin' back

When your heart's under attack
Gonna give everything I have
It's my destiny

I will never say never (I will fight)

I will fight till forever (make it right)
Whenever you knock me down
I will not stay on the ground
Pick it up, pick it up
Pick it up, pick it up (up up up...)
And never say never

I never thought that I could feel this power

I never thought that I could feel this free
I'm strong enough to climb the highest tower
And I'm fast enough to run across the sea

Cuz there's just no turnin' back

When your heart's under attack
Gonna give everything I have
Cuz this is my destiny

I will never say never (I will fight)

I will fight till forever (make it right)
Whenever you knock me down
I will not stay on the ground
Pick it up, pick it up
Pick it up, pick it up (up up up...)
And never say never

~ "Never Say Never" by Justin Bieber


Let's be clear: I do not really consider myself a Justin Bieber fan. But no, I'm also not one of those people who vehemently denounces him either. Me? Mostly, when it comes to him I say "meh." Justin Bieber is aiight.  As for Zachary Charles Manning a.k.a. "The King of Six?" That's a different thing.


Maybe I should clarify. Zachary Charles Manning isn't exactly a huge overall Bieber fan or anything. He's a one or two song kind of guy when it comes to most artists and that includes the Biebs. But -- let me tell you -- if someone could get my son a ticket to a concert where Justin Bieber stood on a stage and sang nothing but "Never Say Never" over and over and over and over again on a horrific loop (preferably the Kidz Bop version) -- my Zachary would be THERE, do you hear me? There.

And so. Since my baby boy had a birthday last week, I had no choice but to torture you with this song. He also recently recorded himself performing it on the MacBook photobooth -- which makes it just that much more music-lyric-Monday-worthy.

Uhh, yeah.

Can I just say something to you about my youngest child? That boy? He has enough swagger for every single person reading this blog. One day he wore a lavender shirt to school and someone said it was a "girl shirt." Then three other kids joined in to make matters worse. He was in pre-K at the time and do you know what he said in response? Here's what he said:

"That's a really DUMB thing to say. My daddy has light purple shirts and even a pink shirt. I'm a boy so it's a boy shirt. That's really dumb."

And with that, he turned and walked away. In his light purple shirt.

Boo-yow! In yo' face!

Was that swag or what?

I just love this little clip of him because it is so, so, so Zachary. Anyone who knows him can attest to this fact. Almost never worried about what someone will think or say. Dancing like nobody's watching and not caring that everyone is. In fact, I walked in on the end of this recording -- you can even see when he catches me looking -- but then he goes straight back to what he was doing. Such a strong self image and identity to be so young. There is so much I admire about that part of him . . . .and I pray that nothing ever takes that spirit away from him.

Especially me.

The minute you see this little video, you'll thank me for the real lyrics. Ha. By the way--you can't see the video if you are on a smart device since I loaded straight from iPhoto. Sorry about that. (Trust me, it's worth going to your computer for.)

This? If you don't know what "swagger" is, you will after watching this. Ha.

Yes, sir. That's my baby. The King of Six, kickin' it acapella.

Can I please tell you that this was video #1 of like five trillion? People. Don't teach your children how to use the MacBook or iMac photobooth. It's dangerous (but hilarious.)

Have an awesome week. May your swagger be on a hundred-thousand-trillion and may you never say never.

Happy Monday. 

And here's the real video to the song that will unfortunately be as in your head as it is in all of ours in this house. You're welcome.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Top Ten: The show goes on.

I have finally come out of my post-homecoming haze. Despite said haze, life has continued to move and groove. Doesn't it always?

Well. After all that fun from last weekend, I think I may have compromised my immune system. On Monday, I was in clinic all day and sensed something was awry when I started feeling that "furry" feeling in my throat. You know what I'm talking about? That icky-but-not-necessarily-painful sensation that your pharynx gets right before a big, bad head cold comes on?

Which reminds me. What is the difference between a "head cold" and just a regular ol' cold anyway? I just realized that I've been saying "head cold" to describe my infirmary all week. Ha ha ha. I think it's just meant to get the violins whining and the empathy caked on. Kind of like "double pneumonia."


So yeah. By Tuesday, I was on all fours. With a low-grade fever, Barry White's voice, and coughing like an angry junkyard dog's bark. Don't believe me? I called my friend Wendy A., the Infectious Disease Lady, and she quickly diagnosed me as "awful" (without much more advice, I might add.) Still don't believe me? I was sick enough to not conduct my small group teaching session with Small Group Gamma. And y'all know how I feel about the kids.

image of me, the junkyard dog (just add stethoscope)

Mmm hmmm.

But. That not before going to Zachary's school for his birthday. It was my mama-duty to bring "ice cream cups, but not cupcakes because I don't like cupcakes." Did I also mention that I was supposed to read a book, too? Man. I was HUR-TING and it was too last minute to call in the BHE. Seeing as you can't call in sick to your child's sixth birthday, I took one for the team. Thanks to my friend DayQuil, I quieted my junkyard dog-ness long enough to read two solid Shel Silverstein poems (from Zachary's favorite book "Where the Sidewalk Ends.")

I managed to get some rest but was still sick on Wednesday. I had too much to do to get out of any of it, though. I did get plenty of sympathy with my scary baritone voice and my proclamation of my illness as a bad HEAD-cold.

And so. While double pneumonias and ear infections just might put life on ice for some, a head-cold don't stop no show. At least not fully and completely. So yes, my life went on and in the end, it's been a pretty great week.

Hey! I wrote a little top ten about it! Like to hear it? Here it go!


#10  -  AIDS Walk 2012

You guys already know how I feel about doing the AIDS Walk in Atlanta every year with my small groups. It's so hard to believe that we've been doing it since 2007. It's truly a SG family tradition now. 

For some reason, the heavens seem to smile on this day year after year. Blue skies, bright smiles and positive energy are the rule--and I am always so proud to have a team of my favorite medical students right there with me for this amazing cause. 

This year we had two firsts -- Pacha, the dog, joined us on the walk (our first furry team member) and the SG students were so organized that they had team shirts made this year. So awesome. The front said: "Team Manning" and "Alpha Beta Gamma" for our small groups.

The back? A quote from yours truly that my advisees hear early and often:

"Don't Embarrass Me."

I loved walking and talking to members of the group and continue to be touched that they are such good sports about participating. Weekends are precious commodities for studying and sleeping when you're a med student. They're always so gracious about it and seem to believe in the importance of the event, too.

And, of course, we had to have an obligatory mean mug. James wins again.

Next up for us is Yoga with Coach B. at the Central Presbyterian Men's Homeless Shelter. Stay tuned for that.

#9  --  "The King of Six."

That's what my baby boy dubbed himself. "I'm the KING OF SIX, Mom," he told me that afternoon. And I didn't bother to argue with him. Plus the dude had the crown to show for it, man.

Well. As it turns out, the King of Six gets served on a silver platter by his loyal, royal kindergarten teacher. Then, in sickness or in health, The King's mother comes in to read two passages from his excellency's favorite book.  How apropos that one of the two poems selected from Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends" included Zachary's number one all time favorite. . . .aptly titled "Sick."


Yes, people. Don't let the hoarse voice and red nose fool you. This poetry slam was complete with full mommy animation. Nothing but the best for the King of Six.

His name is Zachary Manning also known as the King of Six--and he approved of this birthday.

#8  --  Friends to the End.

This picture includes Isaiah and his two very best friends. They were leaving the movies and were happy as three little clams. I love everything that this image represents. Friendship. Diversity. Youth. All of it. 

The other thing I love is that they've always reminded me of Harry Potter and his two close comrades. Leah has such a Hermione expression on her face, doesn't she? She keeps those boys in line, I tell you. Believe that.

#7  --  You glow, girl!

I got to see my good friend, Marshal, yesterday. We became friends after our boys were in the same pre-school together. We hit it off immediately and have been pals ever since. Once school started this year and life just kept moving as it does, we hadn't been able to see each other in some time. Yesterday the planets aligned and we were in the same place at the same time. Woo hoo! 

But the other thing? Marshal has lost 40 pounds since I last saw her. 40 pounds, y'all! Just from cutting down portion size and making better choices. She was already beautiful, but something about how confident and vibrant she obviously felt was even more striking than the weight loss. 

That made me happy. Plus Marshal is also a Delta girl and she missed her own HBCU homecoming this year and she let me describe every single moment of my best homecoming ever in painstaking detail. Yay for good girlfriends!

#6  --  The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

This is Kevin S. Kevin is a fourth year medical student and all around amazing human being who happens to lead a student-run organization called HealthSTAT (Health Students Taking Action Together.) I am one of the lucky faculty who gets to advise and mentor him but what I've learned is that when you build these kinds of relationships sometimes you get called upon to do things. As well you should.

Anyways. Kevin asked me to be a part of his lineup of speakers at HealthSTAT's Candlelight Vigil for the Uninsured on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol. Which just so happened to be on Wednesday evening at dusk. And as you might recall from the other seven hundred and fifty five references I've made above, I was SICK as a (junkyard) DOG. 

*covers mouth with fist and coughs hard for effect*

Now. In Kev's defense, he'd asked me to do this eons ago. That said, the conversation we had prior to the event was pretty comical. Me with my most pathetically pathetic voice telling him all about my DOUBLE HEADCOLD and how positively wretched I was feeling. This was all a thinly veiled attempt to get Kevin to kindly offer to let me out of it. Seeing as I had a DOUBLE headcold and all. Mmmm hmmmm. No such luck. Kevin just profusely thanked me and allowed me to go toward the beginning. 

Eeek. Is it horrible for me to admit that I SO didn't want to go. I just wanted to go TO BED.

But then I got out there. 

The energy was amazing. Just. . . amazing. And, I mean, the cause was important, you know? So as soon as I walked up I knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. 

They were kind enough to move me to the front of the list, but something about us standing in solidarity to honor our patients and their RIGHT to affordable and attainable health care was like the Balm of Gilead. The moment I opened my mouth, I didn't feel the urge to fight back a cough reflex even once.

I even stayed until the very end. I'm so glad I did because the other speakers were unbelievably inspiring. I met some very cool people and heard some compelling stories from people directly on the front lines and personally affected by lack of health care insurance.

Something about it felt divine and right. I think Kevin knew I'd feel that way.

#5  --  A brother, a sister, (and a bar room brawl)

Well. First the good news. The brother and sister also known as Zachary and Fiona got to hang out on Friday which is always a ton of fun to witness. Those two are little peas in their own pod and it's beautiful to see how they never, ever seem to miss a beat no matter how much time has lapsed.

Fi's parents have this super-duper-fun pumpkin carving fete each year. The kids and the grown ups have a blast. Zach and Fi were back to their regular shenanigans in no time.

Now. I will tell you that the not-so-good news is that a little boy at the party made the unfortunate mistake of elbowing Zachary's sister in the shoulder very hard and very recklessly.

*drops head in shame*

All I'm going to say is that he won't make that mistake ever again. At least not while Zachary is around.

#4  -- Pumpkins and Pumpkins.

Something about being there with all of those pumpkins made me happy. Yeah, that was a good time.

#3  -- You're the Piano Man.

 Turns out that the King of Six is also The Piano Man. He played us a song last night. I can't say that it counted as much of a melody, but he's so damn cute that it had us feeling alright.

That and the assortment of adult beverages. Heh.

#3  --  Bright lights, Big lecture hall.

Umm, okay. So thank goodness the night at the Capitol was my panacea for the double headcold-sinus-infection. (Thought I'd add the sinuses in for effect.)  I was slated to give a talk at the regional Society of Hospital Medicine meeting on Thursday and am happy to say that I was feeling a bit better by that point.

It's not my first time speaking at this meeting, so I felt like I knew what I was getting myself into.

Errrt. Wrong answer. 

Turns out that instead of doing a breakout session in a small room (like I had in the past), I was in a BIG-A lecture hall doing a plenary session to five kabillion people. And yes. Of course they'd sent me seven gazillion emails and mailings that outlined that I would indeed be giving a plenary session but somehow I neglected to register that it meant I'd be speaking to every body and their mama.


Can I also add that I was speaking behind one of my favorite people--this kick arse cardiologist-friend of mine name Javed B.--who was absolutely brangin' it when I got there? (And yes, I meant to say "brangin' it" not bringing it because that's exactly how I would say it if you were sitting here at my kitchen table with me.) I was just a weeee bit nervous.

Anyways. It ended up going fine. I received some good feedback and didn't erupt into a fit of junkyard dog barky-croupy coughing. I did clear my throat a few times, but they seemed to understand once I told them that I was recovering from a quadruple sinus rhinopharyngeal headcold.

Mmmm hmmm.

#2  -- Ladies who lunch.

I ran into three of my awesome colleague-sisterfriends at the SHM meeting -- just in time for lunch! Woo hoo! We had a lovely time together and caught up on gossip at all hospitals except for the VA (since no one was from that hospital.)

Christina P. (next to me) now lives in South Carolina and seeing her made me realize how much I've missed her. She's pregnant with baby #2 and is positively glowing. Joanna B. and Amanda M. are on the Emory faculty, but since they aren't at Grady we don't always cross paths. It was a real treat to spend some girl time with all of them -- especially since I knew them all as residents way back when.

Le sigh.

#1 --  Comment-o-megaly! Hit-o-megaly!

I'm so bona fide, y'all. For reals.

Oh. That's medical jargon. We add -megaly as a suffix to anything that has gotten BIG.

Case in point:

cardiomegaly:  big heart
splenomegaly: big spleen
hepatomegaly: big liver
glutomegaly: big butt  (oh, I think I only say that one.)

Hey! Even though I was sick, I was still so excited about homecoming that I posted twice about it. And would y'all believe that despite my quintuple sinus rhinopharyngeal headcold with fever-chills-rigors-and-hallucinations these posts brought:

1.  The most comments I have EVER received on a single post.
2.  The most hits I have EVER received on a single day.

Shut YO mouth, y'all!!!

You know what this means don't you? You like me. . . .sniffle. . .you really like me!

That, or something in my post is a highly google-imaged item.  Errrr, yeah.

That's all I got. Yes, people. The show goes on.

So happy I lived through that week in time to monumentally waste your time reading all about it. :)

Happy Sabado.

Now playing on my mental iPod and regrettably stuck on the harmonica part. . . . .