Monday, October 16, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

397,000 Points

Me: (answering phone to unknown local number tersely) Dr. Seng

"Um, my boss called you earlier, I work at the bank, I was trying to get him to tell you, he said you were upset,"

"Yeah, tell him I'm sorry I was being cold I just don't like to talk about a deposit box still linked to my name that isn't mine. I was divorced 10 years ago. I don't like being called Mrs. Schneider anymore, especially when I am in the middle of something. Did you get him to close it out?"

"Um no it's not about that. Did you know you have 397,000 points on your credit card?"

"No. I have no idea what that means. I get e-mails about some rewards thing but I've always deleted them."

"It's just that I've never seen anyone with that many points!  I had to tell you!  That's $4,000 in cash!"

"Are you sure you are talking about me, and not some old account?"

"Yes, it's you. If someone told me I had that many points I'd faint!! I mean you can get a vacation or a KitchenAid blender but I'd want the money. Want me to tell you how to get it?"

"Sure I'll get my computer. I only use my phone for bank transactions. I don't know the format."

LOL. I just found out I had 4K I didn't know I had. A few clicks later there is 4K in my checking account.

"Thank you so much for letting me know. I was waiting for a quarterly bonus to donate to Irma and Maria relief now I can do it this weekend. And this will help pay for a couple of upcoming trips."

"Your welcome!! Have a great weekend."

"Thanks again you too."

Gotta check casseroles for doc mom book club tonight. How much better can a day get with book club and 4K. I cannot imagine.

Happy Friday

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mothers in Medicine: THE BOOK

It's finally announced on social media! I'm part of this book I'm so excited. Coming out in the Fall or Spring. I organized one chapter and wrote a third of it (had to delegate the other parts to experienced authors). No money to be made but lots of wisdom on medicine and mothering from fantastic women on the blog - many of whom I have met or at least developed e-mail relationships with over the years. Here's a link for more info:

Mothers in Medicine Book

Man I'm getting rusty I almost forgot how to set up a link lol.

Happy Tuesday - Elizabeth

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Checking In

I'm traveling three weekends in a row, starting tomorrow at 8am. And while I'm horribly disillusioned about the conference I am going to tomorrow, I am excited to meet a small cohort of women physicians in Stylish AF for drinks Friday afternoon. Also, Gay Purcell told me about the Omaha Zoo which is supposed to be amazing - so me and my best friend Trishie from residency are going to spend Friday there before the conference starts. I managed to read 5 books on my LA trip (two were short) so I'm being ambitious - packing four. And I'm proud to say I spent not one dime on new PJ's for the pajama party or cocktail dress on Saturday night - I pilloried my own closet.

How many people out there can say they have their own Troubadour? Not many I'll bet. Do you also have the certainty that this lifetime is not unique, I mean, that what you are experiencing now happens in every lifetime? For centuries past and present and future? It's a comforting thought, especially in these chaotic times. Because Houston, LA, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Florida, US and B V.I. - it's so scary it's apocalyptic - Harvey. Irma. Not to mention the White House. Last gasp of the old white privileged mansplaining male I'm praying. My daughter was asking tonight how I get my news and how I am so caught up (Mom, I notice at dinner you know what you are talking about). Loved helping her get apps for Slate, NYtimes, Atlantic, and HuffPo. She's 15 years ahead of me at her age. Navigating public school/high school/ life with aplomb.

Sending love and health and happiness and prayers to the Universe. I'm in a really good mood:). But also lots of money to Houston and plans for Florida and PR. Because tithing. You've got to put out more than you can ever expect to receive.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


The internet is a strange and glorious thing. It lures me daily into it's mania and freneticism. Which is why I cannot remember who posted this, on twitter of all things - must have been a link, because I am not active on twitter.

We pathologists look at cells all day long. We diagnose infection, cancer. And it's true, what they say in the New York Times. Colon cancer is becoming ubiquitous among younger and younger people by the day. I have seen this in my 10 years of practice on top of 7 years of training, and it's nice to finally feel validated, but it's awful to have friends fall victim to it.

When we look under the microscope (an observation by anon twitter pathologist) we see cells. We don't see skin color. We see the same cells in everyone. Everyone has the same freaking cells. When I work up a report for cancer - breast, colon, kidney, etc. - I have no idea if they are black or white or Chinese or anything else. I could guess from the name, but I don't do this. I look at age more than name. Cancer befalls us all, at an alarmingly increasingly younger rate.

I read an e-mail newsletter recently, and it has stuck with me so hard. Wanted to talk about it in my Sunday school, but we are booked up this fall. Maybe in Winter. It's about putting people on pedestals. We all do it - mentors, authors, actors, rock stars - hell some of us our own family. They inevitably fall. But that wasn't the lesson. The lesson was that by putting people on pedestals we are eroding our own ego and self worth. We are all the same. Not only under the microscope. I tell my kids - don't ever compromise your own self worth in the light of someone you admire. Don't fall victim to what I did for years. You are not less than anyone around you. You are the same. Cellular level and all. We are all connected.

I read a book recently (hell five in the last week I'm on a roll) called The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. It calls into question the idea that animals might have innate intelligence, and souls. I say, is this even a question? Do you have a dog, or a cat? Don't you relate? They are all there. They have talents and abilities that we don't. We can learn from them.

I was doing journey work earlier this week and I saw a hawk. I became inpatient (my status quo) and hurtled my soul into the stratosphere to see where it was leading me. It lost me. It teaches me. Life is unpredictable. Look beyond the skin color, look into the soul, and you will begin to know where it's trying to take you.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

What the helminth??!!

I cannot take credit for this amazingly parasite nerd statement. One of my PMG pathology sisters (over 800) posted this a couple of days ago with a pic of a worm, asking "Ascaris?"

I cribbed this off the web bc, strict rules about not taking pics from PMG pathology 

Everyone agreed. Ascaris lumbricoides. A dream specimen - this one was found in the stool of a child and mom brought it to the ED. It was bottled and still alive when she removed it from the plastic container. It measured over a foot. Most of the comments centered around puke emojis and WTF gifs but I was most impressed with "What the helminth?" I think I am going to start saying that every time I see a worm.

I shared the story twice today - kind of fishing for an Ascaris story. The head of microbiology did not disappoint. "We had one case, about 15 years ago. Everyone talked about it for months. I think it was in LRDC, there was a patient with an orthodontist appointment. I guess the anesthesia drove the worm out. It came out of the patient's mouth, when they were under. The nurse fainted. The ortho doc sent the specimen to us. It was still alive too." I was amazed. This is a once in a lifetime case. If you live in a developed country, I guess.

This was a hellaciously busy week. I presented a tumor board for the second time this month - loved it. My quick thinking was probably lost on all the clinicians in the room - but the pathologists were impressed. Normal cerebellum, which is what I called on frozen, can look astonishingly like metastatic small cell from the lung. 

And the week ends a day early - I am headed to LA tomorrow for a 1920's flapper party in Beverly Hills. Going to meet a lot of previously only online mom doc friends. I feel like I am going to the moon - haven't been to LA in thirty years. Simona Bot and her husband grew up in Romania and currently reside in LA. She is hosting a party for 60 people. They outgrew the clinician bubble with biotech skills and patents. My friend Tuhina told me their house was like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. One of the other attendees wrote a memoir of her journey from Cambodian refugee to doc in the US. I'm going to read it on the plane. 

Hooray for big time birthday month plans. Hoping things cool down politically with North Korea. Life is too short to worry about crazy male egos.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


An infinite expression of life

Iridescent green and rose

Energy swirls

And lands on a frequency

Energy shifts

Life happens