Deck The Halls

My yearly attempt at keeping Beanie Babies relevant.

[Yes, I’m still a doctor.]

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Dear Family,

I will miss you! Save some creole peas for me.

Love,

Meggie

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Harrison's Christening, Christmas 1994

Harrison’s Christening, Christmas 1994

 

IMG_1050ally2To Everyone:

May peace be yours this holiday season. May joy be yours throughout the year!

Happy Holidays.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Lessons From Intern Year: Beyond the Checkbox

Things I’ve learned thus far….

1. SELECTION OF PEN IS KEY:

All pens were not created equal and pen needs may change dependent upon what service you are on, at least in my case. I highly suggest those four color pens. I put discharge stuff in green (green means go ie going home), critical stuff in red, daily stuff in blue, vitals in black. However, if you’re rounding and not able to write on a surface, this pen isn’t great and you need a gel pen that you can write with easily while not on a hard surface.

For more on pen-ology: see this regarding the search for the one true pen. 

2. EMBRACE THE BINDER RING

Most people aren’t into this but I learned it from peds residents as a student. I like having all of my lists hole punched and on a binder ring so they are all together.

So, between my perfect pen hooked onto my ID lanyard and my binder ring, I don’t look like a nerd at all each day.

3. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE “SMART” DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE ACTUALLY GOOD AT ANYTHING.

Yes, even if you’ve had 8 years of higher education, simple things can be really difficult. Like a patient in the OR or not having cord blood spray on your attending.

4. START TRAINING

You’re going to walk a lot. If you’re not in good shape, start spending all day on your feet as soon as possible.

Proof: My FitBit – I walked three miles at work the other day!

5. BRING SNACKS AT ALL TIMES

You never know when hunger and/or opportunity to eat may strike. Come prepared.

My fave snacks are Picky Bars. Shocking, right?!

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Stickering Picky Bars when they had the old sticker labels….

I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that I was Picky Bars first online customer, which remains one of my favorite facts about myself. Why? Because if Picky Bars ever has an IPO, I’m using this bit of info for first dibs on those shares.

So, in honor of my THREE YEAR customer-iversary and my TWO YEAR Picky Club-iversary, I’ve having a little giveaway. 

For a 10 box of Picky Bars in the flavor of your choice!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Comment here telling me the next flavor you’d dream up for Picky Bars. I’ve been preaching a almond butter based bar with coconut in it for years. No one has listened. My 2nd suggestion is ginger. Lauren, are you listening?!

2. Follow @pickybars (and tell me here) and tweet what your fave flavor is to them using the hashtags #pickypower #pickylegacy

3. Follow @pickybars on instagram (and tell me here)

4. Follow @pickybars on pinterest (and tell me here)

5. Like Picky Bars on Facebook

Get to work, folks!

I almost just signed this post “R1 Smith, Discussed with Attending Dr.___” which is when you know work has really taken over your brain.

Until next time….

 

 

NYC Marathon 2013: Convincing Myself Otherwise…

If you spoke to me around May of this year, I would have sworn up and down that Eugene was my last marathon. It’s was why I trained so hard for it, right? That last hurrah before residency?

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I had no intention of running the NYC Marathon for myself this year. In fact, I chose the “refund” option for my 2012 entry after the cancellation. I thought it’d be impossible to do a marathon as an intern.

However, the opportunity to run for Every Mother Counts made me convince myself otherwise. After spending some time on labor and delivery, it became very apparent how dangerous pregnancy and childbirth can become in certain situations. The thought of having to walk 5k to receive basic medical care while in labor, which many rural African women have to do, fueled my desire to raise both awareness and funds for EMC, which seeks to remedy this and other barriers to prenatal and obstetrical care.  One look at this video compelled me to take the plunge into another 26.2 mile journey.

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The more I run and the more I go through life, the more I realize that most situations are determined by how you look at them.

Hugh Downs may have said it best: “A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but, rather, with a certain set of attitudes.”

More simply stated, attitude really is everything.

So, I convinced myself that running this marathon would be a GREAT idea. I would be raising money and awareness for a great cause. It would motivate me to run on days I didn’t want to. And, best of all, I could run it with one of the coolest moms I know (besides my own mom), Gia. 

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Residency blazed ahead a blistering pace and “training” fit in where it could. I didn’t tempo, mile repeat, long run workout, 800 repeat, or do any of the other traditional workouts one might associate with marathon training. In fact, I missed a couple of long runs. I ran or spun when I could and convinced myself that what I did was enough and that, in fact, being an OB/GYN intern was actually high intensity interval training disguised as work (which sometimes it feels like it is).

By the time last Sunday arrived, I was over the moon excited – probably the most excited I had ever been for a marathon. (Or maybe I was also just really excited to have the weekend off of work…).

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In my “YES… I’m off all weekend” excitement, I told the “team” (Addie, KScott, and Gia) that we were going to run free and race inspired. I had the next four hours off from any thought of residency, ACGME, logging work hours in New Innovations, CREOGs/Prolog studying, cleaning my apartment, organizing the piles of stuff on my desk, answering emails of which there are too many, or any other obligation I had.

The race itself was the antithesis of every other marathon I’ve run. I didn’t wear a watch. I didn’t think about a split or goal time other than the fact that I thought I’d like to finish at or just under 4 hours to save my legs the extra beating.

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The race started and despite all excitement and the reality that I knew I was running a marathon, the whole situation didn’t seem real. I couldn’t believe I was there. After an entire spring of proclaiming that I was done with marathons as residency wouldn’t allow time for that, here I was….running another one.

Miles 1-10 were so mesmerizingly distracting that I don’t remember much about how I felt. What I do remember was how awesome the crowds were, how nice the views were, and how excited Gia and I were to see VC, G1, and G2 at mile 8. As Gia went to swoop up her two twinkles, I decided I needed a kid, too, so I gave Addie’s little Q a great big hug, which probably traumatized the poor unsuspecting kid.

To be honest, around miles 10-13 I started to feel my quads ache a twinge in both my right IT band and left lateral knee. I knew at this point I had two options: freak out about it or keep moving forward.

I’ve found that most of my marathons mirror what’s going on in my life at that point in time. Residency somewhat forces you to get used to this state of constant, relentless forward motion and progress. You have to keep moving.

So, just like I had for the past several months as an intern, I did what I had been doing – I kept moving forward.

By Mile 16 my quads were done and thus began the rest of the most painful marathon I’ve ever run.

Yet, it was the most fun I’ve had running a marathon at the same time.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how that’s possible.

Anyways, since I was in quad pain fest, I did have a doubt or two along the way that I would actually be able to finish. 10 miles is a long way to go on dead legs.

At mile 20….I actually couldn’t believe I had made it to mile 20 without cramping or collapsing. And, oddly, my overwhelming thoughts from that point forward were “you’re here! you’re doing it!” which comes straight out of Charlee’s SoulCycle class.

And, finally, after 6 more miles of relentless forward motion and telling myself “you’re here! you’re doing it!” over and over, I made it here:

FINISH LINE!

FINISH LINE!

And, shortly thereafter, found myself here:

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I made the trek from Staten Island to Central Park in 3 hours 55 minutes and 43 seconds and I couldn’t be happier.

The poncho may have had something to do with that happiness.

The poncho may have had something to do with that happiness.

A final HUGE thank you goes to my marathon buddy and #sisterinsport, Gia.

From a long run my last weekend before starting residency.

From a long run my last weekend before starting residency.

One hot day way back in July, I ran 16 miles with Gia (and RB!) as part of her Chicago marathon training.As we ran up and down the hills of the Palisades Parkway (of which there are many), I talked about how cool it would be if I did a marathon this fall “just to see if I could.” Gia encouraged me. She believed in me probably more than I did at some points. And even when I was struggling in those last 10 miles, she never left my side (despite my telling her “go! run faster!” I think every mile of the last 10). I couldn’t have picked a better friend to share 26.2 miles with. Gia, I’m lucky to call you my friend!

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And, finally, Jocelyn, we missed you!

Come back, JCB!

Come back, JCB! This is how I feel now that you live in Oregon.

If you made it this far. Congratulations! This is now the end.

Recap: I ran a marathon. For Every Mother Counts. It hurt really badly. But, probably not as much as walking many miles while in labor. And that’s why I ran the marathon in the first place.

Until next time…

 

NYC Marathon “Prep”

Seeing as the NYC Marathon is this weekend, it would be a logical time to really start thinking about “prepping” and “race day.” (It starts at 9:40 am, right?)

One wonderful thing about residency is that it puts the rest of your life into perspective. My residency “world” continues at a blazing pace irrespective of any impending marathon. And, truly, in my “new world,” the marathon is just my weekend activity- some of my co-residents are on call, others are getting married, others have kids and Halloween candy to eat. For me, the marathon is just a really cool, hopefully fun 4 hour-ish blip on the radar in a very packed week (as most weeks are).

Anyways, if I had to think about my prep in any way, shape, or form for Sunday, here it is in list form, naturally. (Interns bow down to the holy list and holy check box.)

Here are ways in which I will NOT be preparing for the NYC Marathon:

– STAYING OFF MY FEET: If I did so, I would not be able to do my job. I really need to get that fit bit to see how much I walk at work.

– BEING WELL RESTED: This statement is not compatible with being an intern.

– DRINKING MORE WATER: I’m going to try, but drinking more also means you need to pee more which is 2 minutes more out of your day. Sometimes, 2 minutes is hard to come by. Seriously.

– DRINKING LESS CAFFEINE: Caffeine is non-negotiable in my life.

Here are ways in which I will be preparing:

– EATING AT MORE FREQUENT INTERVALS LATER IN THE WEEK: Eating what remains the question as I’m usually touching a key board or the inside of a vagina (GLOVED HAND, that is) and therefore don’t like to touch anything with my hands.

– TRYING TO DRINK MORE WATER: I’ll give it the ol’ college try…

– CHOOSING SLEEP OVER A RUN: Like tonight, where I am exhausted from the whirlwhind of many deliveries yesterday and generally just having a fairly physically demanding job. I left at 6:30, will be back in likely at 4:30 so sleep > short run…

I won’t be gunning for a PR or BQ Sunday because that’s not the point of this marathon to me.

I wanted to do this to raise awareness for Every Mother Counts. Plain and simple.

There is no race plan, no goal time (other than finishing), no strategy.

Generally, the only stress I feel is:

1) Am I trained enough to even do this with my “moderate, play it by ear” training? Will I need to drop out?

2) Will I be able to walk Monday?

3) Have a truly lost my mind?

I’m banking on the fact that I ran 2 marathons in the past year (making this the 3rd in 18 months). Hopefully, that whole consistency or “mileage” base concept will come into play Sunday.

And, I’m also banking on the fact that I will do almost anything for a milkshake or cupcake (or, let’s get real, entire cake) which I have promised myself afterwards.

So, here goes nothing!

To learn more about Every Mother Counts –> http://www.everymothercounts.org

My fundraiser –> http://www.crowdrise.com/everymothercountsnyc2013/fundraiser/meggiesmith

Until next time…

(Special thanks to Gia for encouraging me throughout this whole “training cycle” and believing in me – can’t wait to run with you on Sunday!)

“Training”

Tackling a marathon and being an OB/GYN intern might not have been one of my smartest ideas, but the marathon is now 2 weeks away and I’m still trucking along with my “training.”

I certainly don’t run as much as I used to and actual “training” like I did for Eugene or Richmond or any other marathon I’ve run is a distant memory. In fact, anything that resembles a watch is also a distant memory so all of my training thus far has been “approximate.” And, I don’t particularly miss either of those things (workouts, watches) as just running at all these days is tiring enough on top of my work schedule!

So, in summary, I’m not injured and I’m excited to get this show on the road. And, my “training?” It is what it is…and hopefully enough!

In a fantastic little type A exercise, I have  made an Excel spreadsheet with my mileage and hours worked (I have to log hours for residency anyways so I have those handy).

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Might need to get out your glasses to read that one…

[And, no wonder I got sick running 41 miles during a apprx 70 hour work week and including a night shift!]

I forgot to log pints of ice cream, number of Picky Bars, and bottles of green juice during the past few weeks, but suffice it to say those combined are probably higher than both my mileage and hours worked.

A sincere thank you to everyone who has donated to my campaign for Every Mother Counts thus far. I am beyond appreciative and touched. A thank you note will be coming your way at some point!

Finally, what’s more exciting than spreadsheets and thank yous? New Every Mother Counts gear from Oiselle!

Here are some of my favorites:

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So, happy shopping!

Until next time…

Bird Understander

Below is a poem I heard today….

Bird Understander

By : Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one
the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright
so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death
it makes you terribly terribly sad
You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird
All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless
but you are wrong
You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song
These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt
you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back
if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

A nice reminder that others see pretty great qualities of ourselves that we often miss.

Be kind to yourself. 

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