Physicians, never forget your WHY…

 

Dear Blog,

Last Friday, as I sat finishing up notes on the last of my almost 30 physicals (this number is never any surprise for us Pediatricians this time of the year, it’s back to school week, so every Thomason, Dickinson and Harrison is lining up for sports physicals and regular physicals and all sorts of clearance and medication forms that need to be filled out and turned in “yesterday”) I took a deep breath and exhaled, my mind filled with the events of the day. As is customary, my beloved patients often postpone their physicals all summer, in search of sandy beaches and clear blue vacation skies, so it’s usually a mad rush the first week of school.

I found myself reflecting on the patients I had seen that day as I often do at the end of my day. Most of them were mundane well baby and well child checkups, nothing really of note, a few of them had minor issues to clear up before returning to play…but one of them stood out clearly like a lily in a field of carnations…a 16year old we shall call “Maya”. I have met Maya only a couple of times in the past and I have known her to be a troubled teen, plagued with depression and anguish, never really smiling, not much eye contact, not much of an affect…just sad. I have tried to manage her depression the best I can with counseling in the office, a referral for proper psychotherapy. My good friend, and child psychiatrist sees her regularly and has placed her on an appropriate dose of antidepressants, and she reportedly goes to counseling regularly, all with little or no change in her mood(s)

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She came in that day in the company of her mother and her older 17yr old sister. I sensed something wrong right away, but I continued my usual intros and salutations and other little talk. Her mom could not stop fidgeting, with the characteristic continuous knee shaking. Her sister’s face was buried in her mobile device for pretty much the duration of the visit, except when I inquired about her. It turned out her sister was also to be seen that day. Both mother and child proceeded to explain to me that her sister needed to be seen for “stomach problems” that only happen at her high school, stemming from her “unique eating habits”, and her lunch time not being fixed at a particular time of the school day. This apparently never happens at home or during the holidays or vacation, when she reportedly “has her own eating schedule”. She wanted a note from me to the school nurse authorizing her to eat her lunch at the exact time she wanted, or she would develop abdominal cramps, nausea and headaches and “get so sick” she would end up being sent home from school. This story line and request stuck me as bizarre, I recognized a familiar thread of possible anxiety in her sister, and maybe some co-dependency in her mom, but I digress…

Maya on the other hand, wore a thick black sweat shirt and jogging pants…mind you, it is 105F outdoors in San Antonio Texas in July! As I indicated in my first two Kevinmd articles https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/07/a-pediatricians-healing-spirit-treating-depressed-anxious-and-suicidal-teens.html, and https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/08/why-this-physician-quit-her-job.html

I somehow am a magnet for depressed and suicidal teens, and Maya, was no different. She made absolutely no attempt to engage with me, no eye contact, shoulders drooped over, melancholic and flat affected. She appeared pale, ashen and sullen, with dark circles around her eyes, she simply looked like she could use a looooong-warm-heart-filled-hug. During the physical exam, she hesitated to take off her sweat shirt, but I insisted, eventually, her mother ordered her to do so. She did so veeerrry-reluctantly, and immediately pronated both forearms…I gently supinated them, and to my horror, revealed numerous, clearly visible, freshly carved cuts all over her forearms, extending from her wrists all the way to her elbows, on her left and right forearms respectively. I said nothing, gently turned them back to her preferred position, completed her examination, and walked back to my seat. I then calmly asked her mom about Maya’s depression and how her cutting behavior was fairing. She hurriedly replied “oh, a lot better, she is receiving counseling, and has not cut in 2years. 2yrears?? I thought to myself, more like 2days!!… Her response immediately made me stop typing on my laptop EMR,  I looked up at her, made sure my words came out clearly and as gently as my rapidly beating heart could muster, as I said, “No ma’am, I am afraid but I have to tell you that Maya has fresh cuts on her forearms and wrists, that are probably not more than 2 days old…”Self-inflicted lacerations on arm of man : Stock Photo

The rest of the visit was a bit awkward. Her mom asked to see the cuts, Maya vehemently refused, and an uneasy silence set in after I explained to mom that, she would probably do better waiting until they got home to approach her alone in her bedroom. Meanwhile, we should probably revisit her counseling sessions, and explore the possibility of an in-house facility if possible, especially since her self-completed PHQ-9 score that day was a total of zero.

I write this story today to remind myself of my why. To urge each one of us doctors to remember our why(s) Never lose sight of the reason you went into medicine, no matter what. We are a special breed, a unique set of like-minded individuals who choose service to humanity above all. We choose to make a difference in our patients’ lives regardless of all the administrative, legislative, personal and sometimes insurmountable difficulties we face daily in the field. I was reminded that day of my reason for leaving my beloved 9-5 job to follow a passion of fighting to end teen depression and teen suicide. I was reminded to follow my heart and believe in my dream. I was reminded to stay the course, because, for every Maya in my office, there are a hundred or even a thousand more out there, so, I must go forth. “The harvest is plenty, the laborers, few…”, Luke 10:2

rear view of a boy sitting on grassland

#endteendepression

#endteensuicide

#askdocotorlulu

BB

PS: My website dedicated to fighting teen depression and teen suicide, teenalive.com is LIVE, click the link to check it out!

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He has been intentionally deliberate.

Dear Blog,

This week was fairly emotional and trying for me at work. I am nearing the end of my 2mo notice and the emotions are getting real and raw. I have had lots of patients find out both from me and from the nursing staff and they are not taking it lightly. I have had patients’ moms crying, I have joined my tears with theirs, and the s*** is getting real. But just like Julius Caesar, I must go forth. Isn’t that the definition of faith?… going forth in trust and belief?

I still struggle with the unknown future, and the uncertainty of not having an immediately apparent source of income, and still marvel at the guts it has taken for me to do this…

The first time I did something this gutsy was in 1999 when I started my own private practice only months after finishing residency. That. was. Trying! I had only one son, Papa. Luckily, I was breast feeding, so at least the poor kid had a somewhat steady source of nutrition. I, on the other hand would eat an apple for breakfast, some noodles for dinner and barely have enough for lunch in those early days before my private practice truly took off. I was terrified, unsure, flat broke, and diffident, but committed and determined, for so many reasons, top of which was my J-1 visa that was about to expire…“whaatt?? girl, you better get it together and get that practice started in that rural area of South Kakalaki that is a qualified HPSA (health professional shortage area) before you find yourself on the wrong side of 45’s great big wall…” my id said to my ego.

Even more gutsy was when I filed for divorce from my now ex-husband. Nervous, afraid, unsure, but determined to divorce a strong-willed “Africa-man” (broken English accent) to the pure amazement and shock and (probably pity) of my onlookers. Many of whom I know, not only thought, but also believed I had lost my mind…what?, you? Naija woman, filing for divorce??? whatever will your people say?? But he is such a quiet man, a good man, what did you do to him? have you done lost yar mind? you dey crase? who do you know ever did that in your family? what have you children become these days? no one wants to stay in their husband’s house anymore, what about your children, how will they manage? blah blah blah. To which I would reply something in the realm of “darling, I don’t expect you to understand…but, he is now single, so please introduce him to any of your available single sisters, cousins, nieces, etc…since he is such a good man…(swinging my hips and whipping my neck and walking away as I roll my eyes…)

Another time I did something very gutsy in recent memory was when I joined the United States Air Force at the age of 42…! Now, at this time, ma guys had probably decided I was a crazy kid that needed prayers…they all probably shook their heads in wonder, said a prayer for me, and commended me into the hands of God (thankfully) as they walked away in disbelief…but if they thought that was bad, then the news that I was getting married to a woman, or that I had gotten married to a woman, finally “broke” the proverbial internet and sent them all in a frenzy…! I guess with those instances in mind, it should not come to my “followers” as a surprise that I quit my day job with not so much as a replacement in its place, to pursue a passion (that potentially is non paying) while I have two sons in college. And bearing in mind that their completely absentee father is absolutely NO help, financially or otherwise… But, if by so doing, I am able to stop one single teenager from committing suicide or spiraling into the dark space of depression, then it was ALL WORTH IT!

I guess that is where my vision leaves their ordinary sight to set off, plotting its own path.

Bringing me back to the topic of today…

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In the past few weeks, I must say I have felt the hands of God more in my life than I can honestly say I have in recent memory.

Since deciding to take up this new journey of re-branding myself. It has been one revelation and one learning experience after another. I have now decided to trust that I have a guiding hand from above and let it do its work in my life.

From my chance encounters to my scheduled meetings, to my patients, to their parents, to my kids, to my extended and nuclear family, to my co-workers to my adversaries, it has all been one message of positivity after another. I have felt nothing but God’s hands on this chess board called my life. Through the transition thus far, He has been intentionally deliberate. I have seen him move Pawns, Queens, Knights, Bishops and Kings in my way, all to propel me to a new level of self-understanding and self appreciation. He has deliberately put the right people in my path, and what I do with them is entirely up to me. But put them in my path, He has. I can only liken the situation to the old days of Long Playing records (LPs), when we would select the record, place it on the gramophone, pick up the pin, and carefully place it on the desired track to play to our delight.

He has literally placed all kinds of helpers, advisers, new acquaintances, collaborators, teachers, mentors, and future team mates etc on the road with me. I shall give you the full details of each encounter at a later blog. Just know that, henceforth, I am a firm believer in the deliberateness of His actions in mine and everyone else’s lives. We all simply need to have our eyes open to these encounters and know that  He IS ever present and ever working. Whether good or bad, it is designed as He wants it. He might not give you fish, if He knows you already know how to fish, but He will supply you with the fishing rod, the hook and the worms, you will however have to find the river, and then cast your rod.

Has it all been good news along the way? absolutely not. Has it all been smooth sailing?, not at all. But through it all, through the disappointments and the good times, there has always been a hint of positivity in the air, and I deliberately choose that energy, no matter how tiny… I am still nervous about my decision, but no longer as much. I am still anxious that things will not be easy, but nothing good comes easy they say, so I must be doing something right. For I know deep inside that, indeed, it is well, and it is rated AG (all good)…

Cheers to the future!!

PS: My website dedicated to fighting teen depression and teen suicide, teenalive.com is LIVE, click the link to check it out!

      “when writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen”

“what you think of yourself is much more important than what people think of you”         ~anonymous

                                                                                             

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…and just like that, numérò dos is gone…off to college.

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Dear Blog,

So, my middle man child (MMC), Chidi went off to college this weekend. My quiet strength. To say he will be missed, is a gross understatement.

He came into my life, 6wks early after 23hrs of labor amidst demands by my nursing staff and gynecologist, not to push… Hmmm, are you kidding me? I had been laboring non stop with this sweet-full-head-of-hair-child who decided to rush in when it wasn’t time yet. And at that point, I had had enough and was ready to evict him (cos what he aint fi’na do is hurry up and wait up in me).

His pregnancy had been very deliberate, he was made in Charleston SC, I knew the exact moment, weird, but true. I was excited, and joyful and scared at the same time. I already had a beautiful son, and didn’t really care if it was another son…mmmm, nah! I wanted a girl, of course, and I thought it was a girl, because his pregnancy was very different from his brother’s. I however knew he was a boy when my nose would not stop getting wider, and my skin would not stop getting darker. I experienced the worst case of heart burns, and cravings with him. Notable was one day I remember curling up in the fetal position in abdominal pains, thinking my stomach was going to burst! Then again, there was the day a patient’s mom cooked me a large pot of barbecued pig feet that I craved, and sitting on the living room floor with his then 2yr old older brother, we devoured the entire pot with our bare hands! Funny the great details our memories retain….sometimes ;0)

I owned my private pediatric practice at that time, and I remember the morning he decided to hurry in. I was getting dressed when I felt the sudden pangs, I suspected it, and told my ex-husband that I didn’t think it was a good idea to go to work that morning, but he insisted, stating it was probably just a cramp and I needed to go to work, what would happen to all the patients that had been scheduled to see me? I tried to argue, but it fell on deaf ears, so, (ever the dutiful wife) I finished dressing up, and got in the car for work. Well, as I was stepping out of the car, in the parking lot of my office I felt the familiar gush of fluid and a definite trickle down my legs, and knew right away. Only then did my beloved husband decided it was really labor, so we needed to head on up to the hospital (we shall talk about that relationship at another date, this blog is about my beautiful Chidi)

I remember watching Lifetime movies all through the labor pangs that day. At one time, the nurse came in and saw me calmly chewing gum and watching attentively. She noted that I had no epidural drip going, asked me if I was in any pain. I responded, “not really”, she then checked me out, and declared that I had a “thick cervical rim” and warmed that I might end up having a Cesarean section if I continued that way. At that moment, the inner Wakandan woman in me awoke and declared, “I will push him out before you guys cut me”. She chuckled and left, and I murmured “try me” to her back. When she returned after about one hour, and checked again, she noted that I still had a thick rim, and she was going to get the on-call doctor to confirm the need for a C/S since I had been laboring for so long and they needed to avoid maternal exhaustion. I scoffed and announced that I was ready to push. She cautioned me not to, but I went ahead and started any way. She reminded me that as a doctor, I knew I could end up with a bad tear if I pushed against a thick rim, but I was already pushing, so she ran and got the doctor, and after only 4 tries, my main man came out swinging and screaming like a banshee! No tears to my cervix.

He is a dark chocolaty-skinned-bright-eyed-curly-haired baby, my youngest brother is dark chocolaty-skinned, similar features and just as handsome. However, his light skinned legend of a father, insisted he was “too dark skinned” to be his son. Whaat? what do you mean?? I tell ya, the things women have to endure in the name of marriage (smdh) I told him to be my guest, and do OR THINK what ever he wished. I knew exactly the day and time the child was made, and by whom…I simply “ain’t gat time for that!” (rolling eyes up emoji)

NOTABLE MEMORIES    img_23301

So, in spite of exclusive breastfeeding, my MMC was still colicky!! He grunted and whined and cried and griped, and repeated! He gave me a hard hard time those first few months. Thankfully mi madre came early enough for “omugwo” and gave me my much needed support, thank you mom! Somewhere along the line, we had to baptize him, again, my beloved hubby was at it, when he uttered the memorable words “over my dead body”. Why? you ask me, well because I was going to baptize him in the Catholic church like we had agreed to during our marriage counseling sessions before tying the proverbial (choking) knot! He was baptized at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Lancaster SC, his first name, “Chukwudi” meaning, there IS God, his baptismal name, “Crucifixio” meaning, Cross…go figure.

As a toddler, this kiddo LOVED trucks and airplanes and cars (especially hot wheels). He loved every toy automobile ever made. His favorite however, were the Thomas the tank engine line of carriers…Thomas, Diesel 10, James, Lucy, Gordon, Percy, Spenser, you name it, we had to get it…and he watched a daily stream of videos of Sir Topam hat, Thomas, and his friends. He would leave all these little critters all over the place, and many a day, we would trip and fall over dem lil devils! He was otherwise a relatively quiet yung’un. Didn’t say much, his big brother did most of the talking for him. “mommy Chidi wants this, mommy Chidi wants that…” It took an ENT friend of mine to draw my attention to the fact that he was not verbal… I, a pediatrician, diagnosing kids on the daily,  I missed the fact that my son’s tonsils and adenoids were enlarged, resulting in conductive hearing loss, noisy snoring, mouth breathing and sleep apnea! He ended up having surgery; tonsils and adenoids removed, PE tubes placed in ear drums…etc

MOST RECENTLY

His elementary and middle school years went fairly well. Not much drama, he gets a bit extreme with his concrete thinking sometimes and will argue a point to the bone, much to the chagrin of his brothers. He distinguished himself from his older more driven brother. Always been consistent in his school work, never really got in any trouble, and always got commended for best behavior…not bad for one dudu kid with Naija roots. An overall cool kid, he only gave me heartache when he did not do his housework, which fortunately was not often. He is left handed (another thing his father did not want to happen, but after lots of arguing, he finally allowed him to be his sweet left handed self) and loves to draw. He always said he was going to be an aname cartoonist. No surprise he ended up picking architecture to study in college. He has always been quietly disposed, I call him my quiet strength. He has grown into a very well rounded young man (no drugs, no alcohol, no girls) He plays the trumpet (2017 Texas all state musician) and is self-taught on the ukulele, and the harmonica. He loves video games. Did I mention he LOVES video games?? he loves video games and burgers and cakes and sweets! For his recent 18th birthday, he only wanted a dozen donuts, no cake, no ice cream, just a glazed Krispey Kreme dozen.

He only wanted to apply to Texas Tech, he only wanted to go to Texas Tech, he got into Texas Tech and he will go to Texas Tech for the next 5yrs…Go Raiders! Guns Up!!

Sadly, I did not get to see him off to school because it clashed with the first day of fall semester for me. I hope he learns that I did this to instill in him the need to stay committed to his causes. He must finish whatever he starts and do it with pride. I can’t wait to visit him next weekend when we go to visit.

Fare you well my beloved son, the angels will watch and protect you that you may not fall on your head, or crush your foot against a stone…vaya con Dios. 

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“you’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting so get on your way”                                                                                                             

                                                                                        ~ Dr. Seuss

PS: My website dedicated to fighting teen depression and teen suicide, teenalive.com is LIVE, click the link to check it out!

Continue reading …and just like that, numérò dos is gone…off to college.

I am a fitness expert.

Dear Blog,
…every once in a while, someone comes along and they not only capture your attention, they actually deserve the attention…!

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Titi, my Teeny Titan!
Fitness Expert,
Fellow Bakorian,
Girl on Faya!
#Letsgothere!!

And thanks for quoting me…ko ez raa ra

BB

T is for Titi

Definition of Expert in English by Oxford Dictionaries:

Expert, Noun

A person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area.

“Meet Titi Osu, fitness expert”. I was on “Power Talk with Stephanie Knowles”’ yesterday August 7, and that was how I was introduced on air! Woah. Expert? Who? Me?!! I wasn’t expecting that. I swear I flinched inside. Isn’t this what some/most of us do when we are “complimented”? I composed myself quickly and responded appropriately – “nobody’s called me a fitness expert before, I love it”!

Stephanie interviews leaders in the community – business experts, authors, music artists, and leaders that are making a positive impact within the community. Her show is motivational and inspirational, designed to uplift and empower the community to live better, think better and to do better.

Now that I’ve slept and woken up…..yes I’m a fitness expert!

Before the show, a…

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Dear Blog,

Have you ever wanted, no needed some information that would enable you achieve a major goal, so badly, and the one person in the whole entire world who you know-knows pretty much everything about it, and can help you get from point A (where you are right now) to point B (where your heart desires to be) is actually a rude, obnoxious, loud mouthed, know it all, gosh-I-truly-don’t-ever-want-to-have-anything-to-do-with-him-or-her type of person?

Well, (inhaling deeply) that happened to me today (frowning emoji)

What to do? what to do?

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So, armed with the words of Jimmy Cliff (did I just age myself?) -“I’m gonna use what I got, to get what I need”- in my head, I braced myself, sucked in my tummy, straightened my shoulders, jutted out my chin, whipped my neck to the right, and swung back my locs (now, read that again, s-l-o-w-l-y. Get the picture? ok, let’s continue), put on my best Igbo- woman-with-determination-on-her-mind-and-success-in-her-heart-smile, walked right up to the person, and spoke to them…uuuuugggghhhh!!!

…and as is always the case, to my surprise, they were gracious! Didn’t even for one moment appear rude, was as attentive as ever, and had no issues with helping me out. As a matter of fact, they were willing to meet with me mas tarde to discuss my problem in details and offered to help me as much as I wanted, when ever I needed! Hmmmmm.

Moral of the story?, yea, go ahead, you guessed it, so tell me… I know you know it, so wipe that smirk off your face… like you are perfect or something?…;0)

Hey, at least I made the first move. I went up to them. I checked my “proud Maryness” at the door. I put on my I-truly-need-this-assistance-smile on and reached out first, didn’t I? Then again, I needed them, and they don’t really need me, right? so what’s my fuss?.

Reminder note to self: Since I am on a quest to start my Non-Profit Organization for At-Risk Teens. I am on a quest to save the world, one teen at a time. I am on a quest to throw them life lines and reel them back in… In that case, I must stay the course, stay on my lane, stay drama-free, stay focused, stay true to myself and my mission. I must get over my preconceptions, biases and other nuances that may come in the way of my success. In other words, I must get out of my own way.

Peace Still.

BB

“If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that sometimes our assumptions and preconceived notions are wrong, and therefore, our interpretation of events is incorrect. This causes us to overreact, to take things personally, or to judge people unfairly “ 

-Elizabeth Thornton

PS: My website dedicated to fighting teen depression and teen suicide, teenalive.com is LIVE, click the link to check it out!

 

 

Tu Edad?

EMBA

Hello there,

TGIF! I know my title looks kinda weird, but trust me, there is a story behind it.

So, you might not know this, but I am currently back in school! Yes, I am getting an executive MBA here at UTSA. As is required by any Masters program, you are frequently placed in teams to work on projects. My most recent project is called “The Paperclip Project” where we try to create value out of little or nothing. Essentially, we were placed in teams of 4s, but my team only consists of 3 of us, “Fernando” “Mariana” and I. Each team was given a paperclip and team members are to trade theirs up until we end up with something valuable, sell it on Ebay by the given deadline, and the proceeds are donated to The Battered Women and Children’s Shelter of San Antonio, TX.

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Today, as we are studying and prepping for our presentation, Fernando asks me what the significance of 1969 in my email is. I tell him, it’s the year I was born. He is marveled and thoroughly surprised and truly impressed by the way I look etc. I thank him and proudly tell him, “I turn fifty in a little over 8 months”.  A little later on, I hear Mariana ask Fernando his age, and he whispers, “37”. I look up in surprise, and ask “tu edad?” this means “your age?” in Spanish. What happened next was an eye opener.

It turns out neither Mariana, nor Fernando speak, or understand Spanish. This is news to me, because it is a phenomenon that has puzzled me for a while now since moving to San Antonio, TX. I have met tons of people with very traditional Hispanic faces and names, some even with a ? Spanish accent, but “do not” speak or even understand Spanish. So, of course, I bite the bait! I am all over it/them!

Eventually, Mariana sits me down to explain that “Spanish actually is” her first language, and she grew up speaking Spanish in her home, until she got ready to go to elementary school, then her parents pretty much “banned” her from speaking Spanish! They insisted she only speak English in school because “growing up in the San Antonio of her parents’ days, the city was extremely racist, and they were not allowed to speak Spanish in school at that time!” “What?” I retort, “but San Antonio is pretty much North Mexico!” “How was that even allowed?” but she shook her head and proceeded to tell me the story of her aunt who had bought her first home many moons ago, during that era, and on her title deed were inscribed the words “no Blacks or Hispanics allowed”. Needless to say, her aunt has the deed framed and displayed on the walls of the home.

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Why am I telling you this?, well, because, I now understand and appreciate why some of the folks I come across that look as Hispanic as ever, do not speak a word of Spanish. For a polyglot like me (I speak 6 languages) this is saddening, because I LOVE to speak languages and always want to practice. At work, I actually see most, if not all of my Spanish-speaking patients by myself. A feat I am extremely proud of, to the point that my colleague, Dr. M, (who teaches me and corrects my Spanish daily) once asked me what my Spanish name is, because he feels like I should be a “token Mexican”.

Anywho, I have to go now…I am still in class, and we have our Summer end of semester exams this weekend, plus we are learning about Milton Friedman vs Ed Freeman, Stockholder vs Stakeholder theories in Ethics. As for our little paperclip project? well, we made all of $463.00 in total from one single paperclip, and still had a few more items that were not sold by the deadline date. Not too bad for a relatively valueless item to start with.

Okay, I gats to go, al catch ya later!

Peace Still

BB

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart”                                                        -Nelson Mandela

“One language sets you in the corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”                                                                                                                                      – Frank Smith

PS: My website dedicated to fighting teen depression and teen suicide, teenalive.com is LIVE, click the link to check it out!

 

 

“Remember your Mantra…”

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Dear Blog,

Hi, welcome back! Thanks for stopping by once again. How have you been? Me? Oh, I have been doing kinda fine… Why? you wonder, well, it’s because I kinda did the bravest thing I have pretty much done in a looooong time. Two days ago, I turned in my resignation at my place of work. Yes, I thought long and hard about it before I did it, and I did it.

 

Did you read my welcome blog? If you did, then you know that I am on a quest to re-brand myself in this 49th space, as I usher in my 50th anniversary. No, quitting was not really on the menu, at least not like this, not this early, but, one thing I am learning, is when you fall in the river, you either quickly learn to swim…or you sink.

 

I have worked with my current employer for about 2 years now. Basically since I left the U.S Air Force in 2016. I am one of the top producers in my clinic, if not the top producer. I have given them my very best, and then some… Have I also asked for favors? yes, indeed, I have. I told them I needed time to go to school, during my intake interview, they obliged. I switched from four 10 hour days to five 8 hour days, with no resistance. I work from 10 a.m to 7 p.m daily to allow me study in the mornings, which has been a blessing. But I have also given ALL of me to them. I see my patients sans drama, I see more patients sans drama. My patients and I have a wonderful relationship. I will surely miss them, but… this call is greater than the sum of them and I. I know I bring a splash of “rainbow goodness” daily to work. I carry my unique African pride around the office with me, and my #blackgurlmagic?… oh yea! that’s a given! All this is because, I absolutely LOVE what I do. So, it’s not work, it’s my life.

However, there comes a time when one has to grow up and grow out. I believe that time has come. So, in the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, I informed my superiors  of my plans to pursue my dreams of entrepreneurship. I simply need more time on the weekdays to do so. I asked to work part time. A request which they denied. So, I did the only other thing one should do when they have vision, while those around them only have sight, I quit.

To my surprise, the elation did not last too long, when my arch nemeses, “Self Doubt” and its best friend, “Fear” came-a-calling. I started experiencing palpitations and other expressions of my autonomic nervous system, to the point that I believe I had a partial panic attack last night. I heard them in my head “What have you done, girl? Are you for real?  You done lost your mind, Chile? What about your bills? Don’t you have a son going off to college next month? Blah, blah, blah…” I even had a terrible headache from no where. I craved carbs like mad, and unfortunately, I let my cravings win, and ate half a container of gummy bears, some pop corn and a spicy chicken patty before I could stop myself (yea, I know my Beloved is going to read that last line, shake her head, and roll her eyes. Pero, es verdad).

I went to bed early, and woke up around 2am with tachycardia and warm sweat. I said a prayer to Jesus, and luckily, I was able to fall back to sleep. Woke up early, and started my morning Yoga Retreat exercises (by Beach Body) When my Beloved came out to leave for work, I was just finishing up. I told her about my panic episode, and asked her if she thought I had made a mistake. She calmly took a deep breath, looked me in the eye and said “No you didn’t”. “Remember your Mantra, she chided, If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough…” “Think about all those people who are routing for you, but most of all, focus on all those doctors, and teens who are waiting for your help, all those whose lives you will touch, who will benefit from your business(es), and stick with your plan. It is very normal for you to feel this way”.

I shed easy tears after she left for work. I was so touched by her words. I said a quiet thank you as the door closed behind her, and folded up my mat. And right then it became crystal clear to me that I had made the right decision, no matter what “Self Doubt” and “Fear” have to say about it. I also remember now, that about this time 2 years ago, I felt similar emotions when I decided not to renew my contract with the Air Force, but look how far I have come since then. I shall therefore, go forth with my Vision in one hand, and my Faith in the other. I figure Self Doubt and Fear, are no match for Vision and Faith. “No Retreat, No Regret…”

In closing, I will say a big thank you, to you again for stopping by. An even bigger thank you to God for making us possible, I did tell you, this, is about our relationship, didn’t I? I thank Him for making dreams. For creating bravado (of huge proportions) and giving me a slice of it. For beautiful supportive spouses. For Faith, Vision and  for Love, the greatest gift there ever was.

img_1945Until we meet again, I will echo M.J, in saying, “you keep dreaming…”

Peace Still.

BB

“Little girls with dreams become women with vision.”  Anonymous

 

PS: My website dedicated to fighting teen depression and teen suicide, teenalive.com is LIVE, click the link to check it out!