Saturday, March 30, 2013

I dreamed a dream.

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper, "I love you"
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me

Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

from "Dream a Little Dream of Me"


I dreamed this dream the other day that I saw her. She was standing there amongst a bunch of familiar faces and everyone was hugging her and interacting with her as if she'd simply been away on a long trip. Those faces were actually our sorority sisters and we were at some kind of mundane chapter event. Everyone was dressed in red, which was always her favorite thing to see. No one was hysterically crying or falling to their knees like you'd imagine someone who'd just witnessed a miracle. Everyone was just happy to see her.

But me? I was in complete shock.

Despite that, for whatever reason, in this dream I didn't run to her. I walked briskly, all the while bracing myself for it to not be her but instead her Doppelganger or to have her disappear into a plume of smoke the moment I reached out for her. But sure enough, that didn't happen. She just stood there smiling at me and looking really, really good. Her smile was bright and full and it immediately made me so happy I cried right then and there. That made her chuckle.

"Is it really you?" I asked her incredulously. I patted her face and rubbed her hair. "Is it you?!"

"Yes, Pookie! It's really me!"  And when she called me "Pookie" I knew that it was her. It was Deanna. It was her.

"But. . . but. . .what are you. . .how are you . . . here?"

"I can't stay. I just wanted you to know that I'm okay."  Her expression was genuine. She meant that. She really was okay.

"I miss you very, very much. Very, very, very much." My face crinkled with every "very" . . . like that of a disappointed pre-schooler being torn away from his mother on the first day of school. My shoulders began to shake and I struggled to catch my breath. It was overwhelming. I tried to find my words but they were lost.

"I miss you, too, sissy."  Her voice was so soft. And she hugged me tight which told me that she meant it. It felt so good to feel her in three dimensions.

"See? That's what I worry about. I worry about you missing us, too."

But to that she just looked at me and smiled. It was so relaxed, so content, and just . . .ethereal. "It's so hard to explain," she finally said, "but one day you will understand. I'm well. I'm good, okay?"

She hugged me again and kissed me on the mouth just like she always did.

Then the alarm went off and I woke up.

I hit the snooze button and then just lay there with stinging eyes and a chest tight with emotion. Then I felt angst over all of the questions I wished I'd asked her. What do you think about this? Or what would you do about that? What do you want me to do about this? Or what do you want me to do in general? But that got to be so suffocating that I pressed my palms into my eyes until they stopped. A few moments later I opened my eyes to a quiet room lit by the early morning sun. A peaceful feeling washed over me and I just basked in it in those remaining minutes before that alarm went off again.

And it was good. It was really, really good.

Because I'm a person that believes that souls live on, I have agonized over that question. Does she miss us as much as we miss her? And if so, how is she coping with that in a new land with new things and new rules? 

I have no idea what that dream meant. I don't. I don't know if it was just me and my imagination running away or something altogether different. It felt so real, though. Unlike other dreams. Tell me. . . . .have you had that kind of dream before? Honestly, I don't really think I had before last week.

So. . . yeah. I dreamed a little dream of her. And I'm not sure what that dream truly was but whatever it was? It made me feel happy. It did. 

Thanks for listening, okay?

Happy day after Good Friday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . .I love this version by "The Mamas and Papas."  So many great versions, but this is the one I'm hearing. What's your favorite?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Green lights and real talk.

The Grady Ponce de Leon Center, devoted to the care of patients affected by HIV

Give me the green light
give me just one night
I'm ready to go right now
I'm ready to go right now

~ John Legend

A girl kept patting the side of her head mindlessly. She was talking to a girl beside her who didn't seemed to be bothered at all by the head-smacking or the hyper-exaggerated way she chewed her bubble gum during their conversation. Admittedly, I'd seen the Beyonce weave-pat a million times before. It didn't bother me much, either.

One boy was leaning over his folded elbows on the table. He looked two parts sleepy, one part bored. The next three kids were hunched down in their chairs staring intently at their smart phones and texting. I also saw smatterings of others with respectful, quiet eyes waiting for us to get started. Eventually, the ambient noise of high school chatter died down and we did.

It was simple enough. A panel of patients and a couple of doctors charged with discussing the reality of HIV and AIDS to a roomful of tenth graders over complimentary burritos on a weekday evening. How hard could that be?

I was there sitting in that row of chairs along with my friend and fellow Grady doctor, Wendy A. We said a few words about our experiences caring for patients affected by HIV and AIDS. But the patients who joined us? They were the ones who really took those kids to school.

And us, too.

Most of the patients there were young and close enough in age to those students to hold their attention. One of the patients, however, was a forty-something, like Wendy and me. Although she was the least likely to run into those high-schoolers at a dance club, something about her wisdom and her raw honesty grabbed us all. Not even two minutes into that woman speaking, I noticed that the girl with the Beyonce weave-pat was sitting completely still. Her hands were frozen in deference and her eyes wide like saucers. Hold up. This woman was smart and beautiful. Her partners were straight men and she wasn't on drugs. What was she doing with HIV?

They spoke of the moment they found out. One caught off guard at a "Hey, Get Tested!" day being held on the side of what was supposed to be a mundane community event. Another called up on the phone and told matter-of-factly, "Oh yeah, something came back positive." They also shared their truths about breaking the news to family. Some were supported from the start. Others? Not so much. And some? They still hadn't yet found the words to bring to their loved ones so technically, that part was still a work in progress.


Something about hearing those patients' perspectives and realities was spiritual for me. They described these evolutions and how this part of their lives forced them to grow up faster than, perhaps, they'd even wanted to.

And what I will say is this:  By the time they all finished speaking, all smart phones were put down and all milquetoast body language melted away. Hands came together in thunderous applause. And all of it was really, really good.

Just as the group started to dissipate, I saw that head-patting girl standing a few feet away from me. She'd spit out her giant wad of gum before gently approaching that woman patient who'd spoken so eloquently.

"I'm not gon' forget what you said," that student said softly.

"Baby, I just don't wish this on nobody. So you got to protect yourself, okay?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"I mean that. This disease don't give a damn about whether you black or white or rich or poor. It don't care if you cute or smart or how bright your future is. It don't care. It could come for anybody who give it a green light. You the only one who can give that green light, you know what I'm saying?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Them boys will tell you stuff to get you to do it. To give that green light. But it ain't worth it. It only take one time. Just one."

And by this time, that young girl with her sewn-in hair was flanked by three of her friends. They all stood their listening and. . . getting it. They were really and truly getting it.

At least, they looked like the were.

"Can I have . . . um .  . .a hug?" that young girl finally asked that patient.

And what happened next, warmed my heart in the deepest places. It erupted into a chain reaction of high school students hugging our patients. Those hugs were tight, genuine, and meaningful. Lines were crossed, barriers torn down and truths embraced right along with arms and shoulders.

I was so, so glad to be there to witness that. So glad.

"I ain't a disease. I'm a person."

That was one of the final things spoken by one of those patients. I stuck those words on post it notes in my head and in my heart so I wouldn't forget it.


Happy Thursday.

 Now playing on my mental iPod. . . John Legend singing "Give me the Green Light."

And, of course, Beyonce singing "Get me bodied" (which I call the "Pat yo' weave, ladies" song. Every time I hear this, I do every one of these moves at the end, I just want y'all to know. . . . .no exaggeration.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We'll keep a light on for him.

Today with fellow Grady doctor,  Bryan O.

I ran into him on his way out of Grady late this afternoon. 

"Today is my very last clinical day at Grady," he said.

"Wow!" I replied. "How do you feel?"

"I feel. . . well. . . kind of sad. Like I'm really going to miss this place. I just kind of walked around and soaked it in. Then I went to the cafeteria and had some Grady mac and cheese." 


"It's hard to believe I'm leaving Grady."

"Man. I know."

After saying that, I gave him a big hug because that's all I could think to do. He looked wistful and I couldn't blame in. Grady is a special place. I'm really glad that I ran into him in that moment, though, because we had some great experiences in that hospital together. It just seemed right.

But see, what I should have told him is that he will always be a Grady doctor. And you can take the doctor out of Grady but you can never, ever take the Grady out of the doctor. 


Happy Tuesday. And Happy 1000th post!

Monday, March 25, 2013

More random pieces of this American life.

Since my new glasses make me happy, I thought I'd post them again.

My life isn't perfect. But you know what? I focus on the good parts. No, I don't ignore the less palatable parts of my life. But I do put less energy into honoring them. And if you give me enough time to think about it, I'll find the good in those parts, too.

I sure will.

Here's a few recent pieces of this American life that I've chosen to honor today.

Z and Fi.

Few things make me happier than seeing Zachary and his sister, Fiona, together. And yes, I said sister and not "sister" because quotation marks suggest that something is alleged or pretend. As far as these two are concerned, nothing about their designation as siblings is fake. 

So there. 

If you've never read about the siblinghood of Zach and Fi, you can here

It makes me happy to see that my children already have "old" friends. Knowing how to be a friend is so important. I love the loyalty that Zachary and Fiona have to one another. It seems to be instinctive for them which made me say to Fiona's dad that we must be doing a little something right.

Zachary made sure to teach Fiona the mushy-mustache man face which she's still working on. 

Those last three pictures just make me smile. Y'all know how I feel about kids having what I now refer to as "retro" fun. Yes, Zachary was on a swing tied to a tree branch. And you're darn skippy--Fiona was playing school and that was her chalkboard.

Mmmm hmmm.

What else? Oh! This:

Game night with Team McD.

It's no secret--I love me some medical students. Well, this image includes me folded in with the family of medical student Catharine M. who is just finishing up her third year. (That's her right next to me with the pretty scarf around her neck.)

Okay, so here's the story on Cathy:  No, she isn't in my small group. And no, I've never worked with her clinically, either. Essentially, she reached out to me last year and asked if I could find some time to meet with and, perhaps, help mentor her. Her timing was good and I liked her assertiveness. We had a "blind" Starbucks date and the rest is history.

Wait. I take that back. It wasn't completely "blind." I actually Googled her before our meeting because I pretty much Google everybody I meet with. Ha ha ha. That search helped me to find her blog which I commenced to read from start to finish before our pow wow. And, yeah, she was partly mortified by that but seeing as she's an excellent writer and photographer, I have no idea why. 

Then again, the whole "yeah, I read your life story after a Google search" thing is a little weird, I guess. 

So, yeah. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her over the past year. That process made me feel like I knew her entire family--which isn't an exactly small one. I relate to people who love like they mean it and this family does. They absolutely do.

So anyways. I was super honored when Cathy's family was passing through town and she wanted me to meet them. Her parents, two sisters, and one brother were there along with some extended family (her roommates and med school pals)--none of whom I'd met before that day. What a delight!

These three below are from Cathy's small group.

Two of her roommates are in her SG. How cool is that? I get so wrapped up in my own small groups that I forget that there are fifteen more small groups per class! Ha ha ha. This one appears to be a very special one. I'll have to give Andrew F. (their SG advisor) props for that when I see him this week.

Next up? Game night!


Confession: Okay. I'll come clean. I'm not so game night-y. In fact, I inwardly cringed when Cathy mentioned that part of the plan and had already let it be known that I would be the ghost of game nights past by the time that started.

But that was before I met her family. OMG. Loved every drop of their energy. Every drop. So much love wrapped into the way they talk to people and each other. I mean that. So it blew even my mind when everyone moved from the kitchen over to the living room to play some game that was part Taboo, part charades, part . . . I don't even know what to call it.

Izzy, the dog, was also in the game night mix. She doesn't strike me as very game night-y either, but she is a people person and is a fan of Cathy's family. I'm thinking Izzy and I were on the same page.

Little sister, Olivia (above), kept score and cracked jokes. I am also thinking that this is a good role to have in game night, too. (Especially the joke cracking part.)

So yes. I was all up in the mix for game night. And Team McD? I want y'all to know that had it been anyone else, I would have been burning rubber in the drive way as soon as the hummus ran out. Skrrrrrrrrt! Or better yet, I would have even had that cartoon gust of smoke behind me like Road Runner used to do with Wile E. Coyote.

Juuuuuust kidding.

What could be better than watching Cathy's mom demonstrating the Harlem Shake without using any words? If she was willing to be that amazing of a sport, then Lord knows I could, too.

We had a great time. I'm so glad I stayed. And let me tell you--Team McD is SERIOUS about their game nights. Hmmmm.  I may even have to rethink my feelings about game nights. No, this won't make me game night-y, but I will think about it before running out the front door screaming next time someone offers. For reals.

So thanks for that, Cathy. Hence forward, I will always be down for a game night with Team McD.

Random hospital moments.

Here's a few snaps from inside the hospital. One with another of my favorite students, Maureen M., who is on her surgery clerkship and the other of Eric S. and Jay L. listening to heart sounds with me one day on rounds.

Both of those photos make me happy.

Hmmm. . . .what next?

Oh. Yes. This: 

Hustle Man.

The BHE is working on a new building. I've told you already that Harry is always keeping it moving when it comes to entrepreneurship. What can I say? I'm married to "Hustle Man." Just . . . not in that shady way like Tracy Morgan's character on Martin. Ha ha haha. . .

Whaaaaat? You don't know about Hustle Man from Martin? You don't know about HUSTLE MAN??!! *shakes head* Let me right that wrong right here and right now! 

Bwaaah ha ha ha. That was looooong before 30 Rock, man. See, y'all youngsters didn't even know nothin' about Hustle Man, did you? 

You're welcome.

Wait? What was I even talking about? Oh! Harry and business. Yes! That. Seriously--I've said it many times that (unlike Hustle Man) The BHE is strictly business. That is no exaggeration. Mardi Gras Cafe continues to thrive and now, next door to it, he is working on another spot. This one he's building from the ground up.

Sure is.

So, check it. Harry's restaurant (Mardi Gras Cafe) is in a part of town called the Historic MLK corridor or Historic Westside Village. Way back in the day, many civil rights leaders met right on that block breaking bread and breaking down walls. Like a lot of neighborhoods in Atlanta, this one went through some hard times. But now, thanks to people like Harry, the entire corridor is going through a metamorphosis. There's a WalMart that just opened in January and lots of new businesses are arriving. The established proprietors are upgrading the things they have and are welcoming new faces and traffic into their doors. And for all of the students who are right up the street at schools like Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark Atlanta University, they are--hallelujah--able to walk to well lit, well-tended, and chic establishments for fun and for a hot meal. 

Best of all? The many, many families who live in the area are no longer in a food desert AND they finally get to see someone putting money into their neighborhood. In other words, businesses like Harry's make the surroundings more inspiring. That's huge on so many levels.

So me? I take our sons to see what their daddy is doing. I want them to put their eyes on his hard work and to stand right in the midst of his vision before, during and after it crystallizes. I say right in their earshot that I am proud of that man and what he is doing because they need to hear that. 

But mostly because I am proud.

These are life lessons, man.

The BHE is doing some great things, man. He really is. So when you guys come down on MLK to support his Mardi Gras Cafe know that it is way bigger than me and my family. It's about showing a community that they are worth the time and effort. 

And before I forget--let me say this. Once there was a restaurant that I liked in town and it closed. And not just closed as in for-the-day but closed as in out-of-business. I recall saying to Harry, "I really loved that spot! I hate that it closed!"  And he just looked at me and replied, "When was the last time you went there?" 

Honestly? I couldn't remember. And I couldn't because it had been a while. 

"So you can't be mad they closed, babe." And that was that.

So this is what we do--when a business is one that we like and one that we wish to keep in our community or city, we make a concerted effort to go there. Seriously. And not just Mom and Pop shops either. Things like the WalMart on MLK and the CVS up the street. Because in this economy, no business is safe. 

We also go to eat at the places that we like near our home. Intentionally. This way, if they don't stay open, we know it isn't because we weren't supporting them. 

"If everyone thought that way about the places they enjoy in their cities, a lot more places could stay open," Harry says. 

So thanks to all the folks coming into Mardi Gras. Keep on coming if you enjoyed it because it makes a difference.

And lastly, this:

Isaiah reading a book to Zachary this evening. Without me asking him to and just because.

This little life of mine? I'm gonna let it shine.

Because it's a good life. It is.

Happy Monday.

Now on my mental iPod. . . .one of Zachary's favorite songs that he rocks out to CONSTANTLY (when he isn't listening to the Party Rock Anthem.) It's impossible to shake it from my head now especially since he sings it on a reciprocating loop nonstop.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Yes. This.

All I can say is. . . .yes. . . . this. This really speaks to my spirit.

Thank you, Chris A.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Join the club.

San Francisco Coffee Roasting Company

I am changing, trying every way I can.
I am changing, I'll be better than I am.
I'm trying to find a way to understand.
But I need you, I need you, I need a hand.

I am changing, seeing everything so clear.
I am changing, I'm gonna start right now, right here.
I'm hoping to work it out and I know that I can.
But I need you, I need a hand

~ from Dreamgirls


Today I spent part of my afternoon hanging out at the San Francisco Coffee Company having java and conversation with Anna H., one of our medical students. Anna is starting up her final year of medical school so we were trying to situate her schedule which was pretty much already together. That allowed us to move on to other things.

We somehow got on the subject of suffering and how that affects us as caregivers.

"I think losing my sister changed me," I told her. "Like. . . I don't know. . . . I somehow feel more connected to people who have loss and less like I'm watching a sad movie."

So Anna, in her thoughtful Anna way, looked at me intently and let that resonate before she spoke. And, like always, her words were selected with care. "Do you think that we have to endure some kind of suffering to really be effective at what we do as physicians?"

That question was a heavy one. It was. It was also a fair one because I'd said to her before this that I thought, after going through all of that, that such unspeakable grief had changed me and made me a more empathic doctor. We discussed how having your own kids helps you as a pediatrician or how having your own baby makes you better understand labor and relate to your patients more.

But this? This idea that you need to suffer and feel like the skin was ripped off of you to really and truly "get it?"  I wasn't sure of the answer to that.

I'm still not.

"I guess if you live long enough, this is a club you'll be initiated into. That or you'll do the initiating for someone."

And despite this macabre notion, Anna nodded in agreement.

"You know?" I said, "Now I say a lot less. I don't feel the need to fill the space with words because I know what helped me and what didn't. I just sit and listen and touch people more. I do say things but I'm more careful. And even though my urge to cry in front of my patients has shifted, my heart feels much more aligned with their feelings. Does that make sense?"

"I think so."

I wasn't even sure if it all made sense to me. But that's how I feel. It really and truly is.

There is this club. This club that has been quietly existing around me that no one really talks to you about until you find yourself thrust into the first meeting. Something happens--like losing a sibling or a parent--and fellow initiates come quietly out of the shadows. They give you their testimonies on tiny handwritten cards or in hushed hallways. Their eyes look different. Their words peppered with things you'd never heard because you weren't privy to such discussions.

Not before you entered the club.

I specifically said a parent or a sibling because I think losing a child or a spouse is altogether a different animal. I am careful not to ever relate my experience with Deanna's passing to what a parent has to walk through after funeralizing a child. Losing your child is so unnatural and out of order that, even as a member of this club, just a few moments of quiet reflection tells you that nothing about it is the same.


Several of my colleagues wrote me heartfelt notes in those weeks after Deanna left us. People I'd worked with shoulder to shoulder for years who I know very well. But I didn't know they were in this club. At least three spoke of losing siblings suddenly. And prematurely, too. They knew of the longing to call and recount old stories that only a sibling could laugh over. They knew of the agony of watching parents with distant, glistening eyes and the helplessness that follows because that club--that parent-who-lost-a-child-before-them club-- is altogether different. They knew. And before that, I had never known that they did.

I don't know if suffering is a necessary component for truly empathic doctoring. (It certainly helps song writers, that's for sure.) But I do know that the more we see ourselves in our patients and people in general, the better we can relate to them. And sometimes that's when they are suffering, yes. But other times, it's something else.

And no--not in that purely hypothetical watching-a-sad-movie kind of way, either. But in that way where you feel somehow intertwined and like your humanity is a continuum.

This is what changed in me on November 15. At least, that's what I think.


I was just thinking about this and wondering about Anna's thought-provoking question. I'd love to hear your thoughts, too.  And if I haven't said it recently, I deeply, deeply appreciate every single person who comes to read here. This has also made me a better doctor and person. We, too, are intertwined; our humanity is a continuum.

It is.

Happy late night Friday almost Saturday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . . "I Am Changing" from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. Interesting. In this moment, I just remembered that Deanna loved this song. That just made me love it more.

Top Ten: I'm lovin' it.

Hey there, good people. Today is Thursday-almost-Friday and I don't really have the energy to write out the stories swirling through my head. So you know what that means, right?


Okay. So. . .hmm. . . how about a top ten? I hope you don't mind.  On this late night I bring you:


Like to hear it? Here it go.

#10  The other J.T. (James Taylor is the "real" J.T.)

Have I ever confessed the ridiculously inappropriate cougar-y crush I have on Justin Timberlake? Uhhh, yeah. No, this isn't a new thing. I've been lovin' me some J.T. ever since he went solo. (Not when he had the scary curly fro in N*SYNC, though.) Deanna was crazy about him, too. I think she was even okay with the scary blonde afro N*SYNC version.

Justin Timberlake

Bless his heart.

But for me, it has nothing to do with his hair.

It's simple. He's confident and he has rhythm. I tell you. There's just something about a man that can dance on the beat--in that cool way like he's not even trying--that does it for me. Have I told you about my first date with the BHE? We went to some swanky spot in Buckhead and had drinks. They had a DJ downstairs and we went down there to dance. That man started moving and chile please. It was a WRAP for me. Ha ha ha. That Harry is a cool dancer. On the rhythm, confident, easy on his feet. Not all sweaty and Puff Daddy back up dancer-y or anything. Just. . . . .smooth.

Love. That.

So this? This I like about Justin Timberlake. Even more than his straight teeth and his singing voice.

You know what else? It makes me secretly hate on his wife, Jessica Biel. I always criticize her in magazines because she needs to back up off of JT. Mmmm hmmm. Like just last week in the hair salon I was in People magazine saying, "These bangs on Jessica Biel look a hot mess." Which was really, really random considering Jessica Biel is not usually on the salon radar.

I mean. It's not like she's Beyonce or Michelle Obama. Half the girls didn't even know who the hell she was.

Mmmm hmmm.

"She's the chick that's all up on my pop-music-People-magazine crush, that's who she is."

~_~    (That's my new code for "eyeroll.")

I bet she has zero rhythm. Like nada.

See? I should be dancing with all of this rhythm. Not a rhythmless chick with bad bangs. Just sayin'.

(Yes, I'm a hater.)

#9  Smashbox BB Cream

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35  

Okay. So have y'all tried a BB cream yet? OMG. I'm sort of infatuated with them. But I have now focused that infatuation in on this one particular brand. 

What's a BB cream, you ask? The "BB" stands for beauty balm, I think. And it's like a hybrid between tinted moisturizer, sunblock, and foundation. But it's waaaay sheerer than liquid foundation and has more coverage than tinted moisturizers. And! It comes in shades that actually match skin of color. Yay. 

Smashbox's BB cream is the one I'm lovin' right now. But--if you don't want to spend that much, I also really like the one from Maybelline that I picked up in CVS one day. 

All you non-make up girls? Try it. And you make up lovers? I'm sure you already have five different BB creams floating around your bathroom as we speak.

#8  --  Old school playing

 I love it whenever I witness my kids playing old school outdoor games. Like jump rope with a chant about what grade you're in or whatever it is you say until someone gets out. 

Can't you just hear the laughter and the playfulness? Oh, and peep the kids playing TETHERBALL in the background--is that old school or what?

#7  --   J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cab

J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 

I am always lovin' this wine. It's so yummy. Haven't tried it? You should.

 #6  --  The things I see in my house that make no sense.

. . .like doing homework with a random Iron Man mask on. It works, man.

Doesn't it look like the start of a "Harlem Shake" video? I so wish it did.

#5  -- The Grady Electronic Medical Record

Dude. I used to spend no less than two hours per day waiting for elevators and looking for charts to sign. Now I take the stairs and all of the charts are in the computer. Best. Thing. Ever. 

We can even review films and EKGs on our computers at home. I'm lovin' that.

#4  -- My new glasses.

The BHE picked them out. I feel so chic when I wear them. 

What's even better is that I got them from our close friend and Harry's linebrother, Steve D., who owns Omega Optical Luxury Eyewear in Philadelphia. Yep. I ordered glasses from out of town--and it worked out perfectly.

Hey! Who's in Philly? Check out my brother, Steve at Omega Optical in the Comcast Center or in Cheltenham Mall. He has awesome things, offers superior service and is a great friend, too. Love these, Steve!

#3  -- My beaded bracelets

My friend Sheila made these and also some more for me. That creme one is super special because it has an angel wing pendant on it. She made it for me to remember my sissy by. I love wearing it because it always makes me think of her.

#2  -- Harlem Shake Videos.

Am I the only one who loves these ridiculous things? I particularly love when little kids are in them. I tried to get the BHE to do one with me but he shot it down. 


#1  --   My last ward team at Grady: Team IGNITION!

OMG. I sooooo hearted this team. 

First of all, my brand new medical students: Jay and Eric. So smart. So earnest. So interested. So great. I totally wanted to put them in my pocket and carry them around the hospital for the rest of the year. 

Not. Even. Kidding.

Then: My rockstar 4th year student, Mulligan. He's not just tall and handsome. The dude is smart, too. 

Here he is with his equally good-looking (and smart) fiancee, Tua L. They had just found out they'd gotten their number one choice at UCSF for Radiology and Psychiatry, respectively.

How awesome is that?

I also looooved my two interns, Joe and Jen, and also my very tall and very awesome senior resident, Curtis. We really had a great time together.

I always have two simple goals on every ward month: 

1.  Take excellent care of patients.
2.  Bring out the best in every learner on the team.

I loved this month especially because I really, really felt like that's what was happening. I could see them growing and flourishing and . . . I don't know. . . becoming who they will be. But me? I grow, too. I develop and change and get challenged right along with them. And so. I added an additional goal:

3.  Push myself to be in a zone of development and not a comfort zone. As a teacher, learner and caregiver.

I've talked about this before. It's easy to hang out in a comfort zone because it feels so cozy. But it's boring sometimes and doesn't push you into being something better. This is why you have to throw a wobble board into your life sometimes to shake things up. To make you think about what you're doing and go a little harder. 

At least that's what I think.

Team Ignition broke bread--or rather tortilla chips--on Wednesday. It was awesome. We talked and laughed and got to know each other more. 

I was super-psyched to meet, Frances, who is a P.A. student at Emory and also the sweet girlfriend of one of my favorite students, Jay. What a dear, dear spirit! I hearted her and decided that I wanted to put her in my pocket right along with Jay and Eric.


Shoot. I didn't get her ear in this one, but Jen had the best earring collection ever this month. I loved seeing what she'd be wearing each day!

Yes, we had a few Mexican beers but everyone is over twenty-one and no one had to go back to work. So relax, people. Ha.

I also met Curtis' amazing wife who, for some crazy reason, I don't have a clear picture of. But either way, she was gorgeous and charming and smart. I really enjoyed being in her presence, too.


So that's it. I love Justin Timberlake, BB creams, my silly kids, beaded bracelets, my tortoise shell frames, J. Lohr cabs and, of course, Team I. 

What are you lovin' these days?

Happy Friday.

Here's a clip of my baby JT on SNL last weekend -- with a little Harlem Shake at the end. YAYUUUHHHH!!!