Myth, Magic, Medicine, and everything in between, 2 doctors talking. Hi, welcome again to Myth, Magic, Medicine with me, Denise Billen-Mejia. And today, my guest is Amita Kumar, a physician, originally from Canada, who came to the US and then went to Ireland, and then came back to the US, and she's going to tell us all about herself. Hi, Anita, thank you so much for joining me.
Oh, thank you so much. It's great to be here. I'm going through a really interesting position in my life right now. It feels scary and strange and fun and exciting all at the same time. Because like you said, I'm a physician. And the last time I thought about what I wanted to do, I was eight years old. You know, when I was about eight, somebody said, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" Well, actually, my grandfather told me that I was gonna be a doctor. And then I realized I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. And then, you know, I became a doctor, and then a mom and a wife and all the things. And you know, 10 years go by, now my kids are 11 and 13. And things are, I'm sort of scared to say, settled, but settling, right? I'm well into my career, my kids are a little older and I love primary care medicine.
You are primary care, but you're internal medicine?
Yeah, primary care. But when we moved to San Antonio, that's where I live now, I went part time, meaning three days a week in the office, and then you know, I did all the other stuff. On the other days, the not fun stuff on the other days. And after many years, like seven years, at my current practice, I kind of decided that I wanted to evolve. You know, it was time for me to do more for the system. There's a little hesitancy when I say that, because it's really scary sounding, and very daunting. And by no means, I mean, I'm sure that people even would consider me maybe a little delusional on this.
Can I just interrupt you for a minute? What part of the system? That's a massive system?
Good question. No idea. I'm just exploring. For me, like there's, of course, so many parts. And as a primary care doctor, there's everything. I just knew that I had to do something more than see patients day in day out. Oh, I mean, obviously, that's important, the service I'm providing is important, but also for me, it's what makes me me, in my mind in a lot of ways, you know, taking care of patients. And for a year or two, I really felt like, if I just talked to my patients about things, which I still think is true, then they will talk to the next person, they'll talk to the next person. Right. So I believe in the ripple effect.
Or maybe, find some big boulders to start throwing in the sea.
Something ike that. So, um, of course, you know, the universe starts throwing signs at you when, when you open your mind to it. And sure enough, right there in the like, Texas Medical Association email, which I'm sure I get regularly, except I never noticed before. It said right there first Tuesdays at the Capitol like an Austin, right, that's an hour away, which means Texas Medical Association is going to lobby in Austin.
Yeah, what? What are they lobbying for pray tell?
Speaker 2 3:36
So, several things. We were there a couple weeks ago, and that week's sort of topic was about scope of practice. So NPAs? Yeah. Not against nurse practitioners or PAs, by any means. Love them, need them, all of that. But you know, like, the reasoning behind some of it is people think about access to care, for example. And so that's one part of the system. That's an issue. Of course. Another part is about prior authorizations. Right. That's like a huge issue. Just first of all, that we have to do it every year.
Every every time the same patient with the same drug. Correct.
If it gets approved the first time, you know, and then and then oftentimes, you can get it approved, but it's not affordable. And then, for me, I'm, I'm having to give them second rate medicine, because it's not affordable. It feels icky. Sometimes, you know,
I don't know, You're in cahoots with a system you want to change.
Like, so I'm like, I gotta at least do my part. I'm not so delusional that I feel like you know, I'm gonna be able to fix everything and everything's gonna be happy go lucky and everything and honestly, I guess that's my segue to living. People always ask him like, well, what what would you suggest doing now? Unlike. That's a good question. You know, in Canada, it's socialized medicine. Most people know what that means. I used to think when I grew up in Canada from zero to 20, that that was free health care. Of course, it's a, it's not free free. It just means it's rolled into our taxes. But there's there's major issues with that, too, right? Long waiting lists , not enough doctors big problems in rural places,
The problem I see, though, is when I hear people saying that they compare it to the fast system, and the fastest them in the US is if you got the money, you can get the fast system, if you don't have it. You could be waiting 10 years to get something no
Right, oh, absolutely. And I saw many, many, many patients that way. That actually had no idea that even because I saw them many times when they finally got Medicare, for example. So that's 65. Many of them in here in San Antonio, we have a lot of diabetics will tell me that they haven't been to a doctor in 10 years, and nothing was wrong with them until I told them that diabetes, of course.
Little numb in the foot, maybe, go to the bathroom a lot.,,
It's a tough situation, because I feel like more than ever, and maybe we've always been in the middle between the patient and the system. But I really felt the crunch in the last few years, where I was always the patient advocate. And but at some point, I had to explain the patient's insurance to them. Like it was as if I was being attacked, or we're being attacked about why somebody has a type of insurance. And I'm not saying it's right or wrong, you know, I'm just saying, I don't know, like I My hands are tied, and it's an awful place to be. So in Ireland and the UK, they had I haven't checked recently, but it's a two tiered system...
Yeah. And there's still a two tier system. Yeah, really, really stretched. COVID is completely.
Right, right. I mean, I think everyone is stretched. Yeah, for sure. But I think the two tier system is a reasonable place to go. Because I just don't know, I don't know how we're going to come back from where we are, without it truly imploding, which I thought happens, but I guess not. But it's on the way there.
Now, if you look at how many doctors have prematurely retired for medicine, for a lot of different reasons. Yes, yes, yes. But you know, frustrated getting sick themselves. Right, or not being able to take the time to recuperate properly when they were very, very ill. Yeah, this has always been an issue for doctors, but there were so many doctors affected by COVID. themselves. Yeah, it's a bit shocking when you realixe a 100,000 doctors, . That's, that is, we only got about 700,000 to start with. They're really working
Speaker 2 8:13
40,000 grads residency? 30,000?
Yeah, yeah. You're not going to replenish them? Yeah,
yeah. And I mean, you know, I say that. And I'm like, Well, me too, in some ways, right? Like, yes, I'm gonna go back to clinical medicine. But I'm gonna go one day a week, and I'm going to be working at the free clinic in town. So you've lost me too, I mean, it may not be forever, but it's probably gonna going to be a gap. Or some time, right? So I don't know what the solution is, I just know that I'm working towards
So you keep your foot in the door, because you'll be working in a clinic with very primary care medicine.
Well, this particular clinic is actually mostly HIV care and prep, prep care and STD testing. But I am hoping one day that I'm gonna be able to start their primary care area. That's what I used to do when we lived in Kentucky. But we'll just have to, I'm kind of taking it in stride, which is new for me.
Is that because you had the same disease most doctors have where you're like, Okay, I'm working for this goal. Okay, now that's the next goal and you don't like look outside.
I don't even think that's like doctor specific now that I've been coaching. So I'm also health and life coach because you know, during the pandemic - why not? and as a primary care doctor, what you can do 90% of the time, except now I have actual tools. I wish that we could teach every medical student this and everybody in high school, I'm trying to get my kids involved actually, because it really helps you manage your mind and really understand why you're motivated or not motivated to do certain things and why you do or don't attain certain goals? And like you said, high achieving people, which I think is a lot of people. And I will say women especially, we are particularly hard on ourselves. But at one time, like, like you were saying, it has served us to, to be goal oriented this goal, that goal, I mean, at some point, I'm 41 now, I'll be 42 in a few weeks and
you poor baby? No, no meaning like, at what point are you playing? When do you have just have fun in life?
Yeah. Like, I'm not always trying to get to the next goal. Or, more importantly, like, When can I do both? When I can I savor the moment and evolve. And so that's my new words evolve. Because I was saying wanting more and it didn't feel good. Feeling like it's not greedy. Yeah, no, I'm not doing that. Just like as if I wasn't happy today, which I am. I'm very content today. But I want to evolve I will also want to evolve. And I want to intubate
to be everything you can be and and educate your children, that, that's possible for them.
Unknown Speaker 11:12
And everyone else?
Well, yes. But start with the circle - ripples.
Yeah. Ripple ripples effects. That's, that's kind of where I'm at right now.
Would you mind going back in history? Only 41 years, whatever. You were born in Canada? Yes. I've been in the US longer than you've been on the planet. Yeah. And I still think of myself as English.
Fair enough. Yeah. No, no, I was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. That's north of North Dakota. That's like, not what most people don't know where that is. It is not Regina, it is Regina.
Actually, I've actually been there before you were born, I lived in Winnipeg for a bit. So I traveled to Saskatchewan.
There you go. So it is the prairie. I'm really just a symbol prairie girl. My grandparents moved there. emigrated. They're like in the late 50s. My grandfather was a neurosurgeon. And I just had my whole life planned out, you know, like, because that's what you do on you're from a small place.
Do you think? Culturally, obviously, there's lots of Indian doctors, but of course, not if you look at the entirety of India, but immigrants are computers and doctors and engineers. So do you think had you pushed back they would have been okay with it? Or did they just say, I'm a doctor, wouldn't you like to be a doctor too? And you just said Yes.
I'm not sure really thought about that. I mean, my grandfather used to call it brainwashing. And I guess it worked. I think that we know with good with good intentions, obviously. Yeah, yeah. But you know, he also attempted to brainwash my sister, my brother, my, and my cousins. I'm the oldest, so maybe that's why it worked. I had the longest amount of it, you know, or whatever. But none of them are doctors. And
So they weren't ostracized from families. No, you weren't really forced into it, you not at all. And of course, he may have recognized traits. And you even as young as eight, maybe said, That was a good fit for you..
Maybe? Yeah, in fact, my grandmother was always like, why are you making her do this? Like, why are you telling her that she should be a doctor? And he was originally saying like, surgeon, you know, not just okay. Not just but surgeon and at that time, he would say, you know, a cardiovascular surgeon. And so when I met my husband Gabe, who, you know, I said, Well, I'm not going to be a cardiovascular surgeon, but I'm gonna marry a vascular surgeon. So, you know, surgeon, a surgeon, they get along great. But I think that, that, yeah, growing up in a small place, you know, has its own culture. So like, Canada has its own culture. And then our small you know, I say small town, but it's like capital Saskatchewan. Like it was 190, 000. Now, I think it's like 250,000 or something, but you know, it. It's no small place for Saskatchewan. It's a city, it's our big city, and there's a university and there's University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and that was my plan. Just go to college become a doctor and live there like everybody else? Yeah, that's great. My kids are gonna go to school. You know what I a couple of my friends have kids that go to the same school we did and great walk to school means awesome. I mean, minus the few months of major winter
Yes, but they at least they know how to handle it.
Yes. Yes. We definitely know how to handle it in Canada. I don't even know how to handle it anymore here because
No, you've gone from extreme to the other. Yeah, how often does it snow in San Antonio?
No, I don't want to wear winter clothes.
It's not really winter.
but it might be 75 in four hours. So yeah. Anyway, and then I went so my parents moved to Texas. And
what, what precipitated that?
So my father was in real estate is in real estate. And we were visiting my aunt in Houston, one Christmas of 1996 or 97. And thank you 96, actually, and my mom's like, do you hear that? That's the AC. It's Christmas. I'm done. She grew up in it. Well, she's from Africa, but she went high school and Red Deer, Alberta. And so I guess my mom was just like, I'm done done with the coal. You know, I was 16 years old. 15 years old. I don't know, the official inner workings. But I was finishing high school. My mom was there in Canada. My dad was in Texas, like, checking out the market. And then next thing, you know, he's buying a building, and we're moving to Texas, and I was like, oh, no, no, I'm not moving to Texas.
It's hard at that age to move.
Right. Well, I was gonna have to move somewhere, I guess..
I mean, you finish right before college, you're still, you don't want to uproot kids right then.
Right. I finished high school. And I and my grandparents were still there. And I even considered staying there. Like, just stick to the original plan, right. But something I guess my dad said something along the lines of, I want you to go to the best college you get into. And at the time, you U of R was not necessarily the best college right? I was still like, why would I not go to University of Regina. But I got into McGill in Montreal. And I was like, Montreal is awesome. My cousin used to live there. My cousin live is her family lives there. And I was like, this place I love her. I love her family. It's like the perfect like, opportunity for me to convince my parents really to go to Montreal, I was just barely 17. And they agreed or something. You know, when I tell them now, I can't believe you let me go to Montreal. They looked at me like and then. And then while I was there, it was like a big, of course, upheaval of my life. And I didn't even really know how to study. So it was it was hard. You know, I probably even ate pizza and studied. And then I was like, then take my MCAT. And that's that didn't go great. And then one of my friends from high school, went to school in Dublin. And I was visiting Regina one summer. And he's like, Dude, it's awesome. Just apply just come here, you know? And I'm like, really? So I had nothing to lose. I was in my third year, I was like, well, I'll just apply. It's based on your high school grades. Right? And your high school everything right? It's a six year from that whatever point you go. And so I was like, if I get in, I get in. If I don't get in, I finished my undergrad and go back to that. So when I got in, I was like, I don't I mean that those three years, I think in Montreal were the hardest, most stressful because the period of like, I want to go to medical school was just like,
the complete uncertainty. Yeah,
the looming thing of I just want to be a doctor, I just want to be a doctor. All these other things are useless, wasteful, like, that's what I used to think like waste of time, not efficient, or whatever. And then I was, you know, going to Ireland right after 911. Nobody was there. And I had two, October of 2001. And it was like I was moving to the moon. I didn't even know that I was at its own island. I literally never knew what I was. I'm from
you knew, you know, you knew there was a North and a South, right? You knew about "the Troubles" or no?
I don't know if I did. I was like 17 year old, naive Canadian girl, you know, like, I just didn't know, I was in my bubble. But you know, of course, obviously, that all changed when I got there. And six years go by in Ireland and I'm the feisty you want to be doctor like everyone else. And I'm complaining about how the library's closed on Sundays, and only open from one to four on Saturdays. And, you know, my chemistry professor looked at me like, or you could just be efficient the rest of the time. Then take Sunday off. And I'm like, Oh man, it's crazy. Of course, the medical school, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, it's been around since 1800. So I'm not sure why I thought it was gonna, like, make some sort of revolutionising changes. But that's how I came from McGill was 17 libraries and you know, are open 24 hours a day. So totally different thinking but it definitely was what I needed. And I think that it literally took me six years and some to finally realize that less is more. And not always but many times and slowing down for me was is and was really important. And I think I'm getting back to that where it's like, if you have brain space, you can think.
Yes. Very important to give yourself some breaks, so youbrain can be more creative.
I mean, that's not It's not American culture.
No, No, quite the reverse. It's just keep going, go, go, go go,go.
Yeah, right. Right. And I think it's just because ...
just look at the number of holidays you get in Europe compared to America. In two weeks standard, the standard contract for just Joe Blow employee is 2 weeks off a year. Right? That's from the 50s in Britain, it hasn't been like that for years and years. And you're thinking, right, right. I don't want to say
I didn't know if it's necessarily I don't think it's wrong. I just think it's different, right? Like, it just is different. And the thinking is different. And we're already starting to see, you know, especially I think pandemic sped this up, where, you know, people are working from home, people are going in, people are talking about four day work weeks, you know, I mean, this is all starting to a halt. Because, well, because we have a major mental health crisis, we've always had mental health problems,
but so, so completely visible to people now. Yeah,
it's, you can't really hide from it anymore. No matter who you are.
Yeah. Do you think that is worse for the medical professional?
Not necessarily worse, I just think that it is worse than it was before. And I think that medical professionals are I mean, you know, you've seen the stats on nurses and PAs and doctors and the triple suicide. And I think that just it is because we are human. And we have been trying so hard not to be human. And to claim that we are superhuman, that the world proved us wrong, you know, and if we aren't willing to accept some of that, then something's gotta give. And your brain is like, Sorry, no more. Yeah. And, man, it's like really a sore spot for me for not really any particular reason. Thank God, I don't have anybody to close to me that this has happened to, but I do feel this compelling need to improve that. I mean, improve mental health in general, and prevent physician suicide, if I could write even one. I don't know how or when or whatever. But I'm just going to get involved in doing my part.
And you don't yet you can't see how the system needs to change. We all know, there's lots of things in the system that should change. But but if you if you had a magic wand, I happen to pass you a magic wand, right now what one thing would you like to change first?
Oh, first. I mean, I think as a primary care doctor, my first thing is less red tape about things I ordered. Right. I understand there's reasoning. I know that there's reasoning. I know that in the 80s things were taken the other way, right. Like we overdid it. I'm sure there was overbilling. And I'm sure this is why we're in the boat and the documentation, blah, blah, blah, right. But I really think that if we could take back a bit of power, that I would have less daily moral injury. And I think that the repetitive moral injury is what drives doctors out of medicine one way or the other. And not just doctors,
the feeling you're hitting your head against a brick wall.
Yeah, and even more so like, my head is bleeding and I keep doing it. And I can't not do it. I'm going to go to bat for my patients every time and I keep running into a wall and I'm going to keep doing it. But to my detriment, and obviously my patients detriment, but my patients determine is my detriment. And I think that's what maybe people can't see that this isn't we're not doctors because we're it's a job we...
One the arguments though that's that's put forward for not having an NHS socialized system here is that that will mean there's more red tape and that doctors will lose autonomy. I'm not sure where our autonomy has gone, but it you know, I mean, I started practice 40 years ago, There were lots of issues about the system, then there were no hour caps, you know, you just went to work and you passed out or they sent you home eventually. But, but, but I think that we did feel that we had I mean, at least you know, I was a peon, of course. But once you've got higher up, you can see people actually could make decisions for themselves and, and for their patients and be able to impact them. Now, that same decision would require a lot of paperwork and a lot of back and forth with somebody who couldn't spell the thing you were asking for, but they have the right to tell you couldn't have it.
I have actually been on the phone many times with the insurance companies. So yes. And I actually think it's meant to be that way, because you can't argue with someone who doesn't understand. Yeah, you know, and I've had a few, like, you know, obviously physician review cases as well. But I've been on on the, and I'm a primary care doctor, so I'm not even talking about like, like, well, officially, they're not life saving treatments at this exact moment, right, like, so I can only imagine the life saving treatments, I'm talking about, like osteoporosis medicines, for some reason, that gives me heartburn, because some of the really good ones are really expensive, but people really need them. And osteoporosis doesn't technically kill you.
I mean, shorten your life, eventually,
you're gonna have a hip fracture and you die of something else. Right, like, quality of life has gone down big time, if you survive all that. So it doesn't, you know, it's hard to see the correlation between osteoporosis, which is a slow disease and treating it and preventing and preventing death.
I used to have, even back in the day when things were better. We used to have to argue for kids who were in imminent danger of going into renal failure, and we wanted to get ahead of the curve, you have to wait until it actually happened before you can do it, you know, that kind of stuff. And I think that they I think sometimes the insurance companies think well, it's okay, if we don't prevent that, unless by the time they actually have the illness, there'll be an another insurance company. So be very, very cynical.
No, I hear you. I hear you, of course. I mean, believe me, it's not like I've never had that thought before. Um, I think? I don't know. I mean, I don't know the answer, obviously. But I think it requires more than just like insurance companies. It also requires some societal thinking.
Yeah, and better. Yeah, you could do things to prevent yourself getting diabetes, those kinds of stuff. But yeah. But but also having enough people in the educating of medicine space to have them learn those things.
Yeah, but we used to educate them.
Yes., and we don't have time now. 7 minutes increments are not enough
right. Like, well, I still, I still did, which is probably a problem. And so, you know, especially I thought, I thought getting my coaching certification was gonna make me more efficient. At counseling. It's just took me just as long a bit longer, but at least I think I think it was less repetition. Because I mean, like, everyone knows that we should eat more fruits and vegetables and less fast food. I mean, that's not news. You know, but how and how am I supposed to get time to do that? And how do I create habits that will stack in order for me to be able to do that? And, you know, like this, actually, I think it's stress. I think I've to be honest, my biggest, I believe truly that stress, we bring on so much stress, and we don't have coping mechanisms for stress. I mean, of course, there's gonna be stressors everywhere, everyone has stressors, but the coping mechanisms are very much lacking. So then we eat we overeat, we over drink. I mean, I mean, we smoke, do drugs or whatever, right? Like don't sleep. I think those are the, to me: sleeping, drinking, eating those are the three main issues that we have lost control over and, and that becomes then a downward spiral. And so
are you going to advocate for taking advertising fast food off the table everywhere? We got rid of, we got rid of cigarette ads, we could do some of the other things that are not good for you...
The thing is is like I don't know if I think that if we just like you said educate if we can start educating earlier about coping mechanisms of stress
because I also trained as a health coach back and so one of one of the things I think is that people don't, I don't know if they do have Home Economics in school anymore, are not being taught to, to cook by their parents as much maybe Indian households are different, but not as much as it used to be. And, and so if you say to somebody, no, you can't go out for a Big Mac every day. They don't know what else to put in there. They know it's, you know, fruits and vegetables, but they need to be cooked. Now, how do I do that? What do I know? That's the educational piece that seems to be missing. And I'm not speaking about people necessarily who don't have a good basic education. It's just no, no, that that isn't in there. And they feel, you know, I it won't look the same as it does in a restaurant. No, it won't.
But also, I think that we're just in a time in our society where we want a pill to fix everything. Mm hmm. Right. Like, it does take more effort. And I'm also guilty, right? Like, we're all guilty for, I'm not super creative in the kitchen. Not even super, not creative in the kitchen. That's a that's a limiting belief. I know. But, and part of my six months exploration here is actually to improve my meal planning, thinking, But and if you listen to any of my other podcasts, I feel like I'm an advertisement for Green Chef and HelloFresh. But they're like, they're not paying me. Or they could they should. But like, they're the greatest thing that ever happened to me because I had, I could take the like, stress out of, for me, it's stressful to plan the meal. Like, it's like, okay, go to the grocery store, not even I don't even go to your store, plan what I'm going to order from the grocery store, okay, now I forgot something, I have to go to the store. Now I'm like, now I have to put it all in place where I'm gonna put it together, make it right, like, and it's like, which slice goes in here. And after full recipe, no problem. But it's like, Look at me. I mean, I'm already in a tizzy, because I'm thinking about at a meal, forget about seven, you know. And so this has, like been amazing for me, but it's not entirely affordable for everyone.
No, it isn't. I mean, the good part of it is that they send everything that you need. And then of course, your staples, just sit there going stale, because you get everything you need.
Standard, like our standard rotating and my kids take lunches to school. So you know, and now that I'm home for lunch, I'm starting to incorporate more fruits and vegetables like this is all it takes planning and thinking and more than and time. And I think that that's what I've learned most in the last couple of years, just, I used to drink vitamin water only. And my coaching partner is this French woman. And so we used to do Zoom, and she was living in the UK. And like it was just, it was actually like embarrassing one point where I was like, Okay, I'm going to stop drinking. I drink water now. Okay. But it took me like four months to mentally decide that I wasn't going to drink Vitamin water anymore.
Did you like the taste? Or did you believe the
hype? I just disliked water? Okay. I couldn't I couldn't get it down, like you. And so I'm like, all these I'm drinking something. And it says vitamin in front of it. I mean, look, I mean, I'm a doctor and a coach. And I'm, I'm, I'm being vulnerable, I'm telling you, right. You know, it's not like I'm lacking education. Right, exactly. It's not just about knowing like, of course,
the more you do something, the easier it will get. And soon it will be second nature. And it won't take you two hours to plan the week's menus it right,
right. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Right. You know, we have our go to meals and I always ordered like that combination of things for the week, right? Like,
I use, are you at the Tuesday's meatloaf kind of
Monday's are usually chicken fajitas. Because it's like, easy go to and Mondays are just always. Yeah, and then. But yeah, and then like weekends, we end up cooking more just because we I feel like we have more time. And Gabe really loves to cook, my husband, and so and he's like creative. And my love language is acts of service. And so I'm like
No, we don't want to steal his thunder, but but he's also no longer clinical. Right? Correct. So does he have more time to do those things? Or is he got other things he's working on? I saw some.
He definitely doesn't have more time. But what we have established is that we both have more brain space to then do the same things that we were doing, but with more intentionality and presence. Like because I think we were still doing all the things like I'm still picking up the kids in school still making their lunches every day. We were still having dinner at home. You know, most days or whatever. We were cooking three to four times a week. I wish it was more and we It still go on, like date night or whatever, you know, like, we would still watch the Mandalorian on Wednesdays, whatever, you know, like, but I feel like I'm just more like present, right? I'm just a little bit calmer. While doing it,
Do you notice, this may not been enough time, really, but do you notice any difference in your kids?
Um, probably. It's probably a little too soon to tell. Well, you know, Gabe has been off for two months. And I think his calmness probably has rubbed off on my calmness. Well, because, like, actually, he used to go into super early like five 6am, so that he could be home by five or 6pm. And most days, but the unpredictability of it all, is one was a little bit like, stressful for me, right? Like, just, you know, I always left my clinic by 3:15 to pick up my kids from school at 3:30. But then sometimes he would call me and be like, I'm done, or I'm in between things. I'm gonna go pick up the kids from school. And I'm like, Okay, I mean, it's great. But then are you off, it threw me off a little right, like, and it's, it's a good thing, but then I get normal like,
that's, that's also that's one of the great things that people don't realize. Stress is stress. It doesn't matter whether it's good stress or bad stress. I mean, obviously, good. Stress is nice, because you can be happy at the same time, but it still throws off the system, and it disrupts what you expect to do. And dysregulates you,
Right, and I one of my things for 2023 is about, well, it's actually the same thing I said in 2020 So now I'm scared to say it out loud, before we had the pandemic, and it was to be more flexible. So I literally in January 2020 said, this year I'm gonna attempt to be more flexible. It's not. It's not that I can't be flexible. But my response in between, something happens that requires me to be flexible. But the in between is like, yeah, a tizzy. And I don't want that to I want to go from because I don't like feeling that way. So I would rather be more like alright, here's the situation. I know. I'm going to end up being flexible. How do I do this? Without the tizzy.
Skip the bit in the middle? Yeah,
Yeah. Just do it with calm, calmness. I think one of the nicest things I heard, which I didn't believe at the time was, for one week, we were to tell ourselves, I have all the time in the world. The first time I heard that, I'm like, This is ridiculous. And, but it kind of works. - it's amazing!
I'm very bad at that. I really hate it to change, because it requires moving all the other plans. If something's just getting canceled, oh, free time. But when I have to move into something else, yes. But but but at least you don't have to substitute something else. Sure. No, of course. But what tends to happen is a client can't come in. And so I have to move it to another day. And I have to figure out when something else is going on and that it doesn't I'm not angry with him. I can I can waichange. But it just unsettles me, I need to work on that, too. So if you find the fix for that, let me know, please. I think it's the
thoughts in your head. And I think that's why it works. Like I I've used this example a million times and someday my kids are gonna be like, wanting to know about you.
But so I've told you that I'm not creative in the kitchen. I'm working on that. I'm not creative yet. And I just like I'm super unoriginal. So my kids, and my kids are simple. And so I basically like this whole, like making lunches for them to take to school everyday just you know, like, I bought that book with like, all the different like fun things you can make for your kids and shapes and all those things when they were like five, but really, my daughter just took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some other like fruit and vegetable every day. Right?
It's like all the other kids in the class probably.
Maybe. Right? But it was bothered it was bugging me. But even then that became like, I gotta get up early and make their lunches. I gotta get up early and make their lunches. You know that my second year that needs lunches now like, and I'm like, why can you just eat at school? You know, and one of my coaches was like, why can't they just need a school? Like, oh, they don't want to eat that. And like they won't, so they don't eat then and she's like, so you're choosing to make their lunches. And I'm like, No, I have to and she's like, No, and that changed everything. Because for the first time, I actually learned what it meant to like, cook with love. I just didn't ever it was always just like,
another thing I have to do. Yeah, I
think I have to do instead of a thing I get to do. And I can't even believe I said that because I think that's the first time I've said that. It because it was neutral for a long time. Like, okay, fine. I don't love making my kids lunches every morning. At least I got to I choose to make my kids lunches every day. But, and it's really amazing. Like, nothing has changed, except I'm calmer joy,
Enjoy the little things.
But it was the words in my head, I guess that's my, I think I've kind of dropped this hearing there already. Which is just that. If I can do it, you can do it. Really. Like I know, that may sound crazy, because now I'm this like really interesting, like well rounded global person. But I'm from Regina, Saskatchewan. Like, I am a prairie girl who was lost, who was uprooted, who felt like the world was crumbling, who, you know, who I think? I don't even know if I failed officially, but I did poorly on my MCAT. Like, I mean, it just the point is like, it's not even about being a doctor. But that if I can find a way to have time and space in my brain to be more present with my loved ones and myself and give myself grace, then so can you. And so can everyone else. And I think that what I've really learned is that, yes, being goal oriented is great. And it serves you in many ways in your life. But at some point, looking back and deciding if those thoughts still serve you. Yeah, and
then re examine your goals now and again,
reexamine your goals and thoughts is
just remember to ask how big is the the Krishna Arya empire of books now? I saw the coloring book recently
, I can tell you I really wish I could tell you that we're, you know, selling 10 books a day. I just checked this morning. We've sold seven this month. That's okay. Um, you know, I think Gabe has probably told you, you can put a link to his podcast on here about how it's really been an amazing passion project that like, is so cute, and our kids are so sick of it. But like, it's so fun. Like Gabe has a book signing at Barnes and Noble in June, like,
that's great. That's so cool. It's a very cute book. And you've got these knick-knack stuff too, so you've got the coloring book and activities book
That's really popular, cos you don't have to to read, right? It's pretty cute, too. Not too too easy. It's kind of in between, it's probably for like six year olds. I never thought I never ever imagined doing or thinking about. But it just goes to show you what you can do when it's for someone else. Yeah, like in so many ways, like for my husband and children is what I what I was, what was my driving force? And so why can't we do it for ourselves, I just don't understand.
Well go fix that. And when you understand, come back and talk.
If anybody wants to chat, I'd be happy to. I think email is probably the easiest. It's just I mean that ami[email protected] or my website https://www.dramitakumar.com
It lovely to talk to you again. Thank you so much.
Good luck finding even more space in your brain so you can add even more things of interest creative things for you to enjoy. And and when you figure out what you're going to do in Austin, let us know.
Thank you for joining us at Myth, Magic, Medicine. If you have found this episode useful, you can apply for free CME credits for the link provided in the transcript. If you're not a medical professional, please remember, while we're physicians, we're not your physicians, so please consult with your own health care professional if you think something you have heard might apply to you or a loved one. Until next time, bye bye
Transcribed by https://otter.ai