It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

So, there’s a decent chance that I had a blog post with this title closer to the “holidays,” and I meant it as much then as I do now, but there’s something about this time of year that I just love.

Now, most families are in the Outer Banks doing the week long beach thing, and I am here doing the startup catch up thing while Benjamin goes to a camp down the street.

However, I have this amazingly wonderful obsession with the 4th of July. Here’s a bit of the greatness from our weekend.

 

These are not in order…but that is quite insignificant.

 

I LOVE fireworks.  Love them.  I mean, you have to love fireworks when the 4th of July is your favorite holiday. This year gave us a completely new vantage point.  We all piled onto friends’ roof deck that had a view I had NO idea existed (feel so slighted with my patio), and between the sangria, the glow bracelets, the fireworks, and the oxygen at that altitude, this evening did NOT disappoint!

The highlight, however, remains (something documented in many-a-video) my darling nearly 8 year old yelling “THANK YOU CHINA FOR INVENTING FIREWORKS” throughout the entirety of the grand finale.  He’s not wrong.  And he proved it by sharing where he had read it the next day…it was good for a giggle while celebrating our independence from China England.

 

20140707-224129-81689029.jpg

 

 

 

So…this was (obviously) earlier in the day.  You’ll notice there are no pictures of me in the later part of the day – it’s because I messed up my hair during a wicked late-afternoon workout session (kidding.  Kind of.).  Anyhow – our neighborhood is the real deal.  This year marked the 24th annual Federal Hill 4th of July celebration.  If you can’t imagine it – here you are – a parade of families – scooters, wagons, strollers, bikes, streamers, tears, candy, glitter – it’s all there.  We parade around a few blocks, including Federal Hill Park (O’ Say Can You See?) as you’ll see with the flag below.  At the end, there’s Miss Twist soft serve, a dunk tank, balloon manipulation artists, hula hoopers, egg races…you get the point.  It’s amazing.20140707-224128-81688083.jpg

 

Nothing says independence quite like trying to go to all of your favorite restaurants to find out they are closed.  If there isn’t a better reason for sangria, margaritas and guacamole?  Then I don’t know what it is.

 

20140707-224127-81687003.jpg

 

About that park – the steps are the best personal trainer in the area.  Also known as the most brutal way to end a workout.  But the flag missing stars makes me giggle every time I see it.  It also makes me think of the Fed Hill Kids Egg Hunt – which would be the third post I’d title “most wonderful time of the year” in any given year.

 

 

 

20140707-224125-81685877.jpg

 

BFFs.  Post fireworks. Enough said.

20140707-224129-81689719.jpg

 

So, Happy 238 America.  We love being here, and all jokes aside, are so grateful for the amazing opportunities afforded to us because we are here.

Did you know: Healthcare WASTE is more than we spend on the military?

It’s not more than the totals that we spend on the military, wars, and nuclear weapons, the Veterans, etc. – but what we spend on the military is in the $500-630B range.  What we WASTE in healthcare is $765 Billion each year.  Yes.  That’s billion.  With a B.

This spending makes up 30% of ALL healthcare spending – think duplicate tests that could have been avoided, tests that didn’t need to be done, and repeat procedures because providers didn’t have the access they need.

I have been MIA a bunch lately – mostly work-busy related, and spent the early hours catching up on some articles at the gym.  I read a really great series on sleep, which I hope to share soon (but I am busy and I don’t sleep, as it is, and now have a new focus on getting more sleep), however this article was apparently missed, and absolutely worth the read.

I made this graphic earlier, to be able to tweet it for work…kind of crazy, huh?  If only people felt like they should play a bigger role in their healthcare…If you are interested in being the type of patient who avoids unnecessary, duplicate, and often dangerous tests,  I’d be happy to throw you a promo code to save a few dollars on CareSync’s record retrieval services.  Just send a note to team at caresync.com, and I’ll hook you up!

Image

 

 

 

Excuse me. High cholesterol what? Who?

So, as most people celebrate the truly important holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and National Burger Month, I got the phone call on Monday morning with results from my labs/physical that I had a couple of weeks ago.  

Image

“You need to eat low fat, your cholesterol is high.”

I don’t know a ton about how this all works, but I didn’t think that I was the type of person who has high cholesterol.  I am fit, relatively thin, and I only eat nachos and hamburgers a few times a week. (gasp)

Before you asphyxiate from the gasp, the nacho thing really is a problem.  I recognize that.  I am working on it.  But the burger thing?  I thought I was doing the right thing by eating a lot of hamburgers.  I don’t eat wheat very often, so I never get a bun.   I eat mostly lean beef. And the rest is just protein and vegetables, right? 

Apparently not.

I don’t have all the details, including some important ratios that will help me understand how many burgers I actually need to cut out, but I did learn that stress can be a major factor in this.  I’d like to think that my elevated cholesterol is more linked to the daily panic attacks, and not to the daily burgers (I kid…I only eat them 2-3x a week), at least for the rest of May, so I can celebrate the most wonderful time of the year:  National Burger Month.

Again, I kid.  I am actually trying to take this diagnosis seriously, and make a plan for a diet that is probably more balanced than mine has been over the last few months, since burning more than you take in has nothing to do with cholesterol.

I am waiting for my CareSync team to get the entirety of my medical records from this visit – once I have a better understanding of exactly what’s wrong with my cholesterol, I can take the appropriate steps to manage it.

So, I’ll take that burger and raise you a kale salad.  Yay. 

Mondays require giggles

Me (to Ben): “Can I have a chicken, please?”

Me: “Ben?”

Ben: “Oh. I thought you were talking to a hotel, online. You know, can I have a check-in?”

Giggles ensued.

Be Insatiably Curious

Image

 

Be insatiably curious.  The quote was from an Inc.com article that I read earlier today, and it’s been on my mind since.  Which conveniently aligned with a really serious conversation that Benjamin and I had about death, and losing life way too early.

His questions were valid, and thinking back to our car ride home from swimming lessons tonight, I am pretty irked that I handled the conversation the way I did.  By brushing it off where I could.

A couple years ago, a little boy his age, from our small neighborhood, was killed in a car accident.  Tonight, randomly, he had a million questions about death, dying young, car accidents (and why he really needs to invent a hovercraft), and all kinds of morbid things that I really couldn’t handle today.

But he’s curious.  And he asks, even when he knows it’s an uncomfortable situation.  He also wishes he could track down the driver who was texting and throw him in jail for eternity (me too).

I loved the Inc. article, wish I had been able to go to the conference, and totally wish I had a job title like Chief Happiness Officer or Chief People Officer – but I have to work hard at leadership, it’s not my default.  My distaste for conflict, and my overwhelming fear of looking like a fool (at work…I seem to be fine with it in life) keeps me from truly waving the leadership flag.

Benjamin, on the other hand?  He is a born leader who knows when to ask questions, never is satisfied with good enough (unless it’s his *stupid* common core math), and already is a leading the pack.

I love to watch him create imagination games, and lead his schoolmates around, in the nerdiest way imaginable, as they listen to his rules for some elaborate, made up game, with ever-changing rules (sounds like life!).  He had built badges and gamification into a kindergarten playground game before autocorrect acknowledged the word gamification.

I love the sound effects that come from his room when he’s working on building a “master builder” Lego project.  I don’t always love getting choked by the zip line from one corner of his room to the other, but I love that a Lego creation can travel that far with wheels, string, and some random levers and fulcrums.

I love that he legitimately believes he’ll build a hovercraft that you travel in (so I can sit in the backseat and watch movies, too…instead of driving) and, with the click of a button, it compacts into a “stylish box you store on your living room shelf,” solving for our parking on the street (or in my case, paying $14 a night for the garage…) problem.

I love that he’ll invent the first real Light Saber.  And will take anybody down who is in his way.  I love that he understands the competitors, and the need for a sense of urgency and timeliness when you want to accomplish something. Time is your biggest competition.

I love that he’s going to figure out how to time travel to confirm exactly what happened to the dinosaurs.  And to make it so that he throws up before E’s birthday party on January 18, 2014 so he can’t go to the party and I don’t go on a run and break my hand.

I hope that, despite not always wanting to talk about sci-fi and morbid topics, he never stops being curious.  It’s one of his finest assets.

Also toward the top of that list?  His ability to design and order the BEST milkshakes ever.  Tonight?  Rainbow sprinkles blended inside the vanilla milkshake.  It was the real deal.

And his big heart.  At the end of our death conversation, once the car was securely parked (in the $14/night garage), I convinced him that every day is beyond precious, and it’s important to remind the people you love, and the people who love you, that they are incredibly special…as often as possible.

To insatiable curiosity and love…

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Doctor is Listening to You

Featured Image -- 396

I think Dr. Wen is absolutely brilliant. I love this piece. Reblogged from the OT waiting room…

TIME

Using checklists in medical care sounds like common sense. We’ve all heard the stories of the man who had the wrong leg operated on and the woman who had a sponge left in her belly. Checklists are routine in other professions as well, and we know they can prevent hospital infections and surgical error. But could there be a downside to checklist medical care? Consider these two examples:

Scenario 1:

You come into the ER after you dove to catch a softball. You’re pretty sure you have a bruised rib, but because you said the magic words of “chest pain,” you’re suddenly whisked away to get blood drawn, an EKG and a chest X-ray. You’re told this is all part of the “chest pain protocol.” But did you really need all of those tests done?

Scenario 2:

You tell your doctor you’re tired and feeling run down. Your doctor does…

View original post 586 more words

First 5K. Last 5K.

Um, not me.  And I doubt it’s Benjamin’s last 5K either…but quotes of the race remain:

“I need to walk.  I feel like there is a bomb in my chest.”

“My white blood cells are depleting.”

Longest 5K of my life.

I’ll Finish the Dishes When I’m Dead

Featured Image -- 388

This article really resonated with me tonight; some of my best and  worst qualities all in one story.

TIME

Correction appended: April 7, 2014.

The way you live your days is the way you live your life.

—Annie Dillard

One evening when my kids were young, I was outside weeding my infernal gravel yard that, if left untended, begins to look like a furry Chia Pet. They were bouncing with sheer delight on the trampoline.

“Mommy, come jump with us!” they cried. “In a minute,” I kept saying. “Just let me finish weeding.” It was a time in my life when I used to routinely ask myself, “What do I need to do before I can feel O.K.?” And then I’d run through a never-ending mental list. That evening, with a familiar sense of vague panic rising, I felt compelled to finish at least one thing — the weeding — on that long, long list.

Lost in my churning thoughts, I didn’t notice the sun go down. Or hear…

View original post 4,627 more words

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.