Sad, Snowy Superbowl Sunday

But tomorrow is the turning point day! Groundhog Day! This is the only day in February I look forward to besides of course the last day of February, and this year, February I believe has inly 28 days, and daylight savings begins on March 8. Being outdoors in this weather is very nice when I am in the midst of or at the beginning of a hot flash, which may last up to ten minutes.

Bur February will go quickly – in the next few weeks, I have two talks, we are hosting two dinners at our house, there is a doctor’s appointment, there are a few meetings, and several BodyChangers events which I hope to attend. Every weekend has something going on. The faster the better, and filled with fun stuff. My thing is if it snows on my birthday – end of April – I move to Florida, although anyplace warm would do. Snow on my birthday would be my line on the sand, to God. Although I do not believe in God, but still. Often experiencing PTSD by winter’s end, I am plagued for months after the vernal equinox by nightmares of snow in July and feelings of the deepest despair upon witnessing it. My idea of the worst possible vacation would be a ski trip, especially one that encompassed any of the warmer Pittsburgh months, like going to South America in midsummer to ski. Another bad vacation would be going on one of those cruises to Alaska. The idea of any kind of cruise is totally unappealing, but to Alaska would be sheer torture, o do not care how beautiful it is. I do not understand how anyone would ever strive to be an explorer at either pole, or for that matter, in deep oceans or outer space. Any field that causes one to feel isolated, lonely and cold, and as tiny and insignificant specks of matter as one is.

Everyone is Superexcited about Superbowl Sunday, but not being a football fan, I am neither superexcited nor excited. What it means to me is that maybe the gym will be less crowded and all the stores will be less crowded. In the past five days, the stores have been mob scenes as peops loaded up on Superbowl party fare. Yesterday, I listened to Radiolab which was all about the origins of American football and also about a woman from a family filled with NFL players who had given birth to a 10 pound son later nicknamed “Tank” who began playing tackle football at age 3 but ended up at age 8 giving up sport for soccer because he did not like hurting peops, and this was a great disappointment to his mom, who had her heart set on NFL future for him, even as she watched he own father at age seventy beginning to show signs of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), and had already witnessed multiple male family members who had been so afflicted. She described herself as a mom who held two diametrically
opposed points of view: that boys should play football and that boys should not play football. Her son, who was interviewed, sounded like a very compassionate and intelligent boy, so not one who was cut out for football. Anyway, football stars are such horrible, horrible, entitled brutes, and the amazing thing is, even the most dyed in the wool football fanatic acknowledges this, but still goes crazy for the game and think the stars are heroes. The only silver lining of football is the knowledge that within their sport, these abhorrent rapists finally and actually do face some sort of consequences for their personal criminal activity by tearing each other to pieces. Then again, I do not like to see anyone suffer and end up feeling sorry for them. The NYT mag section has Tom Brady on the cover this week. And what about the Patriots? Did they or did they not cheat, and if so, why were they not disqualified from Superbowl? And the Seahawks are no more virtuous. If you ask me, the whole thing stinks to high heaven. Such an ugly sport. And so popular, ever more so. Pittsburghers live for it. I just do not understand the whole obsession with it and never have and never will. So glad I did not marry a football fan. I mean, I have a couple of Steelers shirts and a nice hoodie, and did feel a bit of pride when they won their last two Superbowls, but not without some disgust mixed in.

It is officiaL. Our sweet Mollie is afflicted with Senioritis. I had hoped against hope that this would not happen to her, but it has, and cb wnd I had to sit her down and have a conversation with her. Mollie is not a girl who can be scolded much, or yelled at. She becomes so upset and mortified at disappointing her parents and feels so guilty and sad that it is like killing a fly with an elephant gun. So even of I feel like being firm and stern, with Mollie, it is not necessary. Just the fact that we even have a sit-down with her is usually enough to jolt her on the right direction. She is passionate and in many ways ambitious, but also tends to dislike focusing on topics that do not come easily to her and allows herself to become intimidated by them instead of more determined than ever to master them. She is more likely to give up. Not sure what it is – maybe a combination of intimidation and languidness. Not like Ferdinand the bull – she is extremely outspoken and an active learner, but not when it comes to science and math. I kind of spurred her on, though when I reminded her that girls need to become more comfortable with the hard sciences, that girls tend to shy away from and be daunted by them. I think this rekindled her resolve. I hope. This is how I was when her age to the point that I took no math or science in 12th grade. I think AP bio was it. But she has to take math in 12th even tho she had calc last year, and is taking anatomy and physiology and environmental science and has put zero effort into either.

I should announce that I have been permitted to have my own Comprehensive Weight Loss Program at Magee and am going to be getting my own brochure and program will be promoted on the Web, at least through UPMC. It is now the only program of its kind in the greater Pittsburgh area to my knowledge, and of course is intimately connected to and on a par with the surgical bariatric program. So far, cost analysis shows that it is breaking even, so not costing anyone anything which is why it is being permitted to exist, and may even have some net positive effects on Magee revenue. I have been plugging away persistently but comparatively quietly for nearly ten years to build this and maybe efforts are coming to fruition. Schedules are full for weeks. Very few cancellations and no-shows. No stats, but my estimate is that at least half the patients I see lose at least 5% of their weight, and probably half of these lose quite a bit more. Many, without surgery, but with the help of one of the weight loss meds, have lost 50 or more pounds. Those who cannot lose, I move on to surgery if medically acceptable risk for it. The team I have now works very well together and the team approach seems to have a big impact. So I am feeling pretty good about this. Also, our BodyChangers program coordinator is doing an excellent job of setting up events and outreach and maybe BodyChangers will begin to catch on.

My Pittsburgh sister and BFF is leaving Pittsburgh forever for seventy degree San Francisco in three days. Last night, I saw her for the last time as a Pittsburgh resident and homeowner. They are driving with their two dogs. I met Jenny in 1991. Since then, we have gone to classes at the JCC, swum at the JCC, gone running, done a half marathon together, gone to the gym and early morning walks together, taken a quilting class, taken each other to lunch and movies for birthdays, shared Jewish holiday meals, the joy of the births of our kids. My boys babysat for her kids, her son babysat for Mollie. I have known five of her dogs. She is the one who got me to join Weight Watchers and we are both members at goal for about 15 years. She took care of my Dad’s nosebleeds aI referred her and her husband many patients. Jenny introduced me to Peg Reidy and Maryanne Hugo, who are now my good friends, too, and Maryanne is also my gynecologist. We know each other’s entire families? She hosted a brunch for out of town guests for my son’s bar mitzvah, and. assisted her Dad in hosting brunches for her two kids’ bar and bat mitzvahs. She had a surprise party at her house when cb got tenure. We have had each other over to numerous parties. I was there when her newborn daughter was in the ICU for five days and on the ventilator. She brought me pjs when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and sent us meals. she supported me when my folks were sick and dying, and I have listened to her family dramas. We have had so many, many laffs and cries, a few not completely resolved disagreements and annoyances. I will miss her so much. Until yesterday, I managed to hold back the tears, but yesterday, last night when she left after visiting for a few hours, the fountain spewed forth. In the past few years, there have been a lot of losses (including Damian and Elsa!) – my folks, Julia and John and Sidney and Bryna leaving neighborhood, the boys permanently moving away and done with college. Mollie is moving away in the fall. Grace and Stu moved away years ago. There have been other losses of relatopnships. The breast cancer diagnosis took away any illusions of immortality I may have harbored, and the arrival of the beginning of my 7th decade removed the illusion that I was still middle-aged. In the past few years, I have lost a lot of long-time patients through terrible illnesses, and even lost two medical partners through untimely deaths. Another medical partner in our practice, also a friend, moved away and severed contact inexplicably. And another medical partner whom I loved and respected and saw almost every day for years retired and I hardly ever see him any more. In the mean time, I have made all sorts of new connections and have lots of new friends. At the same time also, I have retained all the friends who have moved away. and my two best high school friends and kept in touch with my high school and home town and my boys and reestablished contact with my cousins and have a better relationship with my brother and love so many peops. I do not like change and loss. I do not like uncertainty.

But as with others who moved away – Julia and John, Grace and Stu, Sidney and Bryna (much less with them but still a little), my boys – Jenny and I will stay in touch. We have a friendship spanning two centuries after all! And over two decades. It will not be the same, but maybe it will be better, and maybe I will see her in San Francisco sometimes, which will be nice.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 1:49 pm and is filed under aspirations, Attitude, being a doc, BodyChangers, career, compassion, fond memories, friends & family, howque?, on being a doctor, projects, strength, weight management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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