Thursday, August 8, 2013

4 years and counting.

 "If you build it, he will come."

~ from the movie Field of Dreams


Four years ago today, I started this blog. It was mostly on a whim. I knew that I loved writing and engaging and storytelling. I hoped that this could be a place to do it.

Simple as that.

Would I stick with it? Would I drop the ball and then pick it up every six months or so? Would I abandon ship altogether? I can't even say I put that kind of pressure on myself. I just knew I wanted to write. And I needed a mechanism to put these thoughts down somewhere so that I could read them.

You've heard me say it over and over again. Toni Morrison's impetus for writing her masterpiece "The Bluest Eye" is the same as my initial reason for writing this blog:

"So I could read it." 

Do you have any idea how therapeutic this has been for me? How much you coming here has brought to my life? Not just personally--but professionally. It has been a blessing that even I could have never, ever predicted would unfold this way. I'm still pretty mindblown by it all.

Someone recently asked me: "When do you sleep? How do you have time to write here like this? And live your life? And exercise? And even catch your breath?"

Hmmm. I have wondered that, too. I guess the short answer is that once I made up my mind to write, I also decided to mostly cut out television. Not all television. Just some. So mostly I write in the time that I would have been watching television. I also retreat to writing in the early mornings or when I can't sleep.

Oh yeah. I don't overthink things. Like, when telling a story, I just write. Seriously. I think about my writing mantra and then just kind of go for it. Writing forward and not double-backing to redo every paragraph. I think that's another reason I started blogging. I needed a place to write with out rules. I'm a big fan of sentence fragments for emphasis. I also needed permission to play with different styles that some journal somewhere would see and tsk-tsk.


So most stories, I just sit down and write. I let it unfold and while I'm writing it -- either early in it or later in it -- a song almost always pops into my head. I started calling that my "mental iPod." I think life is always better with theme music, don't you?  Ha. The other thing is that the more I write the faster I write. Some of my favorite posts, though lengthy, were just passionately pounded out early in the morning with a thirty minute window of time and nothing more. Not even kidding.

The other fun thing is that my mother, Tounces, reads everything I write. She quickly texts me with major grammatical errors. So usually I just post and then. . .wait for it. . .wait for it. . . .ha ha ha ha. (At least she fills those texts with effusive emoticons.)

Lastly, I am proud of what this has become. I forgot to say that one of the other reasons I started this blog and called it "Reflections of a Grady Doctor" was because I thought public hospitals and the nation's indigent population gets a very bad rap. The hospitals are seen as scary and the people as . . .I don't know. . . just something other than what I get to see. I wanted to let people into a window of the most beautiful aspects of a place like Grady Hospital. So you notice that I don't write negative things about Grady Hospital. And you know what? I never will.

We leave hating to the professionals, remember? Ha.

It bears repeating. I am grateful for you. Grateful that you spend even two seconds of your precious time reading here. There are seventy trillion blogs saying seventy trillion things. You are busy people with things to do and crosses of your own to bear. And yet. You. You have come here over and over and over again to read and feel and think and reflect with me. You have let me indulge you with my family stories and back of the Volvo kid conversations. You have held your gags when I repeatedly referred to my husband as "The BHE" and even had it in you to refer to him as the same. You have honored my patients and my hospital right along with me and gave me your insights on the days I needed to "unpack." You have given me things to write about, think about, and teach about. And you know? I will never, ever forget the way you lifted me up when my family was crushed by the loss of my beloved sister Deanna.

And how you continue to do so.

Yeah. You. You have been wonderful. And I feel grateful. More than you could possibly imagine.

So even four years later on an early morning before hustling out to clinic. . . more than ever. . . I'm just glad to be here. And as my dear Grady elders always say. . . .

'Preciate you.

I do.

Thanks for reading. I will continue to build. And I hope you will continue to come.

Happy Birthday, ROGD!

This always gave me goosebumps.


  1. As a medical student, you have for sure changed my perspective on academic hospitals and not only treating, but caring for, an indigent population. I now look at my narcotic seeking sicklers twice, I see my patients with recurrent substance-induced disorders differently.

    As a proudly Black student, though? Whew. I often feel like I'm out here all alone in my desire to excel but remain true to myself and my community. Especially training in such a polarized city and institution. This blog...whew. I can't even word it properly. You let me know that it's ok. It's going to all work out.

    I remember the shit storm that sending your MLK post to my campus started-some complaining it was spam (but no complaints about the hundreds of emails selling old furniture and books), even more thanking me for projecting a voice that they've went their entire lives without hearing. I regret nothing! You changed a lot of people's minds that day.

    Keep writing, Attending-In-My-Head.

  2. You give us your heart. What can we do but give ours back in return?

    1. Look who's talking! Thank you for being a friend.

  3. It is so interesting to me how your readers have found you. I found you through a fellow student doing a chaplaincy residency at Grady. She knows that I work with an indigent population at my church and want to do my chaplaincy at the VA. Growing up in Atlanta, I have heard my fair share of negativity about Grady, but trust me, if I have a traumatic injury or burn, send me to Grady STAT!!! Knowing that you are one of many competent and caring doctors in that mammoth building is all I need to know that Atlanta's population is in good hands.

    1. I'm so lucky to know you, Jill. I appreciate you.

  4. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for writing! Sending you love from Northern Virginia!

    1. Deanna used to live in Northern Va! Warm fuzzies to you, too!

  5. Happy blogversary. It has been a pleasure reading your posts.

  6. Happy Anniversary! Here's to many more years of letting your light shine.

    1. Thank you, Nicole's mama. Your light is a lovely one indeed.

  7. We love reading it too. :) Happy 4th blogoversary!!

  8. I don't even remember how I found you, but I am so glad that I did. You write one of my absolute favoritest blogs!

  9. From the deck of the Poop.

    Dr. KD, you know that the ole PoopDeck has had deep deep belly laughs and deep deep ugly cries. But after each, I was and am deeply proud of you and your wonderful writing. I enjoy it and enjoy others enjoying your writings. A proud Papa.


    1. I love you, Poopdeck. Thank you for being a selfless, committed parent. I am so fortunate to have been born to you and mom.

  10. Happy Anniversary! I can not tell you the effect your blog has had on my life. Since discovering your blog almost a year ago, I've read nearly every single post. Your blog has given me an inside look into a world that is different in many ways from my own. You will never know, not just the number of lives touched, but how deeply you've impacted so many lives. Thanks for your honesty. Thanks for your vulnerability. Thanks for every time you've shared a picture and a thought. Thanks for sharing your joys and pain. Thanks for inviting us on this journey with you. We 'preciate YOU and really, we're just happy to be here:)
    Here's to another year!
    - L

  11. Your blog just brims with goodness!

  12. 'Preshate you too! :-)

    I will be lighting a candle Sat. for my friend.


  13. Happy Blog Birthday!
    Thanks for everything! When I grow up and become a doctor- I want to be just like you as I have discovered you through this blog :)

  14. I so look forward to coming here to savor these stories. You have no idea of the impact your words and life have had on me. Thank you for the effort you put into this writing and to the life of integrity that you lead. You make me really proud. Happy Blogaversary !

  15. Happy (belated) Blogiversary! I was introduced to your blog by a friend on the ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) of Atlanta forum. Sometimes I drift away and don't read for awhile, but when I come back, I am always reminded of why I fell in love with your blog in the first place.

    You made me fall in love with Grady.

    I came to Grady fresh out of nursing school a little over 5 years ago, and I came here because it was my only option. I had no other offers. I have grown, learned, and fallen in love with the people that are "The Grady." I don't want to work anywhere else, and you remind me of why that is each and every time I come here.

    Thank you, Dr. M!


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

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