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. . . . .


  1. Yes dr. Manning, we like you. And we are glad you are feeling better. I think that all of the metropolitan area has that grunge. So glad that I got my flu shot.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. The unfortunate part is that this grunge isn't the flu so those who got a shot like you and me aren't protected from it. I hope no junkyard dogs bark near you. I truly do. :)

  2. The King of Six! I love it! I shall declare myself the Queen of Forty-Two next summer!


    1. Awwww, hey bumble bee! You don't have to wait until July. I shall declare you the queen of little sisters right here and now. :)




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