Some of my essays and presentations can be found online. You can find links to my work below:
Our bungalow was still dark when my cellphone rang at 5 a.m. My husband and I had escaped for a much needed yoga retreat on the remote island of Koh Phangan, Thailand, when I got the phone call no parent ever expects to get—a call that four years of medical school, three years of pediatric residency training and 15 years of practicing pediatrics hadn’t prepared me for…
I stand in the dressing room, turning to the side, running my hand over the bulge of my tummy, dipping it in over the line caused by my underwear. I notice the way the dress clings just a little too much over my hips. At 45, there is no denying that I have my mom’s body, but on this particular day, it is OK. Over the last few months, I have finally realized just how lucky I am to have her body — a body that matches my gender identity….
It’s been 11 days since I dropped off my first born at college, 2,458 miles away. This morning, as I was lacing my shoes to go for my run, the tears started again. I should have just taken my shoes off and gone back to bed, but what would happen after that?
What I worry about the most is knowing that once we start, the way she smells will change. Every time I drop her off at school, I bury my face in her neck and inhale, aware that they days of her smelling like the child I know are numbered….. I’ve always had this thing for people’s natural scent.
The truth is, when my alarm goes off at 5:30 am, I mumble some profanities. My car permanently smells like sweat. If you don’t like that, you’ll have to get a ride with someone else. Growing up, the PE hour was the most dreaded hour of my day. Running in the morning is now my happy hour (and happy hour is my happy hour, too.)
As a pediatrician who has been practicing for fifteen years, the most frequent non-medical question that patients’ parents ask me is, “Doctor, do you have children of your own?”
Their questions show that although they value my medical education and expertise, they want to know if I’ve had first hand experience with the worries and difficulties of having a sick child…
“Allergic To Hugs” is a piece I wrote and presented in front of an audience in Los Angeles as part of a show called Expressing Motherhood. My piece tells the story of my middle child’s presentation as transgender. You can listen to the presentation through a recorded podcast from one of the shows.
I was featured on the MILF (Mothers I’d Like To Follow) Podcast in episode #62, “Love, Not Fear.” The host Jennifer Tracy and I discussed many topics including my upcoming memoir, my childhood as an immigrant, being a pediatrician, having a transgender child, advocacy, and how I define success.
I had a conversation with Dr. Helen Webberley, a physician in the UK who is a transgender advocate and the founder of GenderGP, about being the mother of a trans teen. We discussed how my daughter’s revelation led me to question my own identity as a mother and a pediatrician, and how I progressed from denial to acceptance and advocacy.
Every year at this time, I start reflecting on this journey of marriage, and the endurance it has taken to make it to another anniversary. Marriage is the marathon with no finish line. You enter it with the hope that “til death do us part” will be the finish tape you break, but you never really really know when it will be over.
Life itself is a marathon, and in training to run my first full one, I learned many lessons. Most of them apply not just to running, but to other aspects of life as well. Physical strength without mental fortitude will only carry you so far.
“Ponytail Resolution” is a piece I wrote and presented at another Expressing Motherhood show in Los Angeles. It is a piece about identity and insecurity, and the subtle messages I may be passing on to my younger daughter. You can watch the video directly here.
As physicians, our patients generally look up to us as people who make a great impact on their lives and sometimes even save them. But over the last year, I’d have to say that it’s my patients who have repeatedly saved me, starting with a four-month-old baby girl on November 9th, 2016.
Since I became a runner five years ago, I’ve run in London’s Hyde Park, New York City’s Central Park and Bangkok’s Lumphini Park. When I pack for a trip…
This piece first appeared in print in Women’s Running Magazine under the title “Run Therapy” and later online under “The Running Path That Became My Best Friend.”
Frosting, sriracha popcorn and chips with melted cheddar (sugar, salt and fat)—that’s what composed my last food binge which occurred on February 15, 2015, at the age of 42. This is difficult for a pediatrician mother-of-three who has had an extensive background working with teens suffering from eating disorders to admit.
I spent most of the last 24 hours feeling numb. When I woke up early yesterday morning for my 10-mile run, I didn’t check the news or social media. It wasn’t until after my run was over and I was grabbing coffee with a couple of fellow runners that I found out. “There was a mass shooting in Orlando…about 50 people dead…
On September 23, I came home from a long busy day of work (during which I tried my best to remember to hydrate in anticipation of an 18-mile training run the next morning as I prepare for the New York City Marathon.) …I reached into my mailbox and pulled out the October issue of Women’s Running Magazine, with a woman in full hijab on the cover….
For my first marathon, my only goal was to actually just cross the finish line…For my second marathon, I knew I wanted to run in New York City. I’ve had a life-long love affair with that city…I binge watch Sex And The City repeatedly…I would float through the five boroughs in a sparkly Tiffany-blue tutu.. figuring if Sarah Jessica Parker was ever to run the marathon, she would certainly do it in a tutu as well.
If you give a mom a pair of running shoes…
She may just fly past the heaps of laundry and run out the front door. In those first couple of miles, she may think of everything she “should” be doing instead of running. She’ll think of the dinner that needs to be made, the homework that has yet to be reviewed, the work presentation that isn’t writing itself…
As another Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself thinking back a lot about the time before I was a runner, when I was a mother, and had not transitioned to being a mother runner. I’m going to put myself at risk and admit something that may get some criticism.
In my closet, you’ll find a shelf of old running shoes. They are shoes that have enough miles on them to not be useable for my double-digit runs anymore, but still have enough wear to protect someone else’s feet through many more miles. When I look at that shelf, I am flooded with memories and indecision. Donating an old cocktail dress is pretty.
Five years ago, I put on a pair of shoes to go for a run. I was a stressed-out working mother of three who was furiously treading in place to keep her head above water, and I knew it was time to make a change before drowning.
When I entered the taper period just before running my first full marathon, I decided to write a kindness letter to myself in which I spoke to myself the way I would to a friend.
I was interviewed by Denny Krahe for an episode of his podcast Diz Runs. We talked about how running transformed my life, and also about the Slay Sarcoma 5K and my personal connection to it.