The Good Ol’ Days are Now.

There are times in history where we all remember where we were when that specific moment passed.  Tragic events, like Princess Diana’s death or the events of 9/11, or the really happy stuff, like weddings and babies and birthdays.  But what about the day-to-day?  The average?  The routines?

My son and I were sitting at my daughter’s lacrosse practice on Sunday evening, and in the waning moments of her drills, he started scrolling through the photos on my phone.  We reminisced about pictures at the start of my camera roll, dating all the way back to 2013; from loose teeth and Halloween parties to vacations and baseball games.  “Oh, the good ol’ days,” he said flippantly, with the tongue-in-cheek nonchalance that only a ten-year-old can muster.  He didn’t mean it, of course, but his statement made me take pause.

Jays game

This was one of the “good ol’ days” photos he was referring to.

The good ol’ days.

The thing about the good ol’ days is that they seem better when shined up with the lens of nostalgia.  In fact, in a few years, today will be one of those good ol’ days.

It was a good reminder for me to live in the present, be in the moment, have gratitude for today.  It’s something that many of us struggle with I’m sure, and as a Type-A Virgo, my drive to always be onto the next, striving for more, pushing the limits, can sometimes be too much.

Breathe.

Pause.

Take it in.

Today is a good ol’ day.

remember


How are you? No, really.

I’m a bit of an introvert.  I recharge with alone time and I do best in small-group settings.  Maybe that’s why I love the one-on-one interactions that I have with my patients.  Put me in a crowded conference room or a busy house-party and I don’t feel like myself, but put me in a treatment room with a patient and I’m all in.

The conversation with a patient is a delicate balance; technically speaking, my “job” is to conduct a detailed history and physical examination and come up with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.  But I think it’s more than that.  I think a big part of my job is to learn about you, to gain your trust, to build a rapport.  You see, that’s the part I really love.  I like to know what you’ve been up to on the weekend, what your kid’s names are, what makes you tick.  I like to learn about your work, your exercise routine, your opinion on the Raptor’s game.  And I like to learn those things not because they’ll affect your treatment outcomes (*** but they will, more on that later***), but because I’m genuinely curious to know the answers.

michelleeducatedMaybe it’s the same reason that memoirs and autobiographies are my favourite genre of book to read.  Simply put, I love to hear people’s stories.  I love to learn about how you got to be the person you are- where you’ve lived, where you work, why you’re here.  I love to hear your perspective, your opinions, your voice.

My mom has often said that my Grandpa was always so “interested” in those around him.  I think I’ve got that gene too.  If I ask you how you are, believe me, I’m genuinely curious to know.

And as for patient outcomes?  Yes, I believe that a better relationship with your practitioner will lead to better treatment outcomes.  I believe it, because I see it happen every day.  This website serves as my open book for you to get to know me; that’s always been my theory and the very reason that I started this blog back in 2012.  I want you to know me, know my stories, know my world, because I think that starts our relationship.  And inside the treatment room, well, that’s my chance to get to know you.

The Hippocratic oath says “first, do no harm.”  Ha.  We can do better than that, can’t we?

primum

 


Water, duck.

Perhaps we’ll start today off with a little zoology reminder.  As you may know, a duck’s outer feathers are waterproof due to an oily coating that the duck secretes.  This oil repels water and forces the droplets to roll off the duck’s back rather than making the feathers wet and heavy.  This fact has become the basis of a little piece of advice we’ve been giving to our kids when they overreact.

“Water, duck.”  

It’s a reminder to keep your cool, let it roll off your back, don’t sweat the small stuff.  My kids are now ten and seven, and big brother likes to push little sister’s buttons from time to time; her overreaction can be swift and massive, leading to a cascade of sibling fighting.  After one such outburst over Lego or TV volume or who got to use the front door key, we sat the kids down and had the water/duck talk.

It sunk in.  They got it.  And now when those episodes happen, we just have to say “water, duck” and it serves as a very effective reminder to think big picture and take a deep breath.  It’s always been my ultimate goal to raise children who are happy, however that happiness is defined or manifests for them.  Part of the water/duck talk was to explain to them how focusing on small problems only robs you of joy, steals your energy, and creates a feeling of unhappiness. choose-happy-wall-plaque

This is advice that I try to heed myself too, and something that’s come in very handy over the past two weeks.  You see, today is day twelve without internet at home, as our service provider tries to fix an unknown issue- we’ve had four technician service calls, hours on hold on the phone, and stretches of days waiting for the next available 8-5 repair window.  It’s still not fixed and we’re frustrated.  But…….. water, duck.  If this is the worst problem in my life then I’m doing pretty well.  I’ve got wi-fi at work, Starbucks wi-fi down the road, and I can create a hotspot from my phone when I need to be online at home.  Problem solved, onto bigger fish to fry.

I’ve seen far too many grown adults grumble about someone kicking their seat on an airplane, let a cold restaurant meal ruin their night, or complain about loud backyard neighbourhood gatherings.  Water, duck friends, just let it roll off your back.

Focus your energy on the good stuff.

Choose happy.

lighthouse

This is the only picture I have on my phone that has a duck in it.  Just go with it, okay?