The Science of Compromise


Every time they see each other they hug affectionately, and I’m always thankful they have each other. As brothers they stay together, crossing the country and collecting experiences unique to their shared bond. I hope they both become men who are not ashamed to openly express their love for each other.

The Science of Compromise |

Kevin had his first day of school (7th grade, new building), and Damian will start next week (3rd grade, new district). It’s bittersweet to break from our tradition and assign Damian a new school district, but we’ve had a lot of practice at being flexible and open to creative solutions.

I try to teach them that it is possible to feel many things at one time about a single decision. We try to collect all the data we can, make Leslie Knope pros & cons lists (kidding), expect emotional resistance (not kidding- especially my own), and move forward knowing we investigated the problem as thoroughly as possible. As a single mom working to get into medical school, I need to be as efficient as possible. The truth of compromise is that we don't move forward with everything we want. Despite difficult concessions, we aim to equip ourselves to have the most probable chance at reaching our goals.

For their sake, I am positive about the changes and remind them of the benefits. I'm also honest about some of my hesitations, because I trust them to be able to process most of it. Hope my transparency helps them feel more involved as members of our family. Damian took a tour with his new principal and is excited to get a locker + a few more days of summer. Kevin will have cello daily, and most of his friends are in his classes.


This morning it's cool and rainy for August, and I'm sleepy from an overnight emergency department shift. Love being there though. I'm still excited from learning about the mechanisms that cause pancreatitis. I didn't know that enzymes meant for the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) can become activated in the pancreas and start digesting pancreatic cells?! The physician I worked for kindly showed me the difference between a healthy vs inflamed pancreas on CT scans. This naturally led to my curiosity about what immune signaling cascade follows enzymatic activation to initiate pancreatic inflammation, and the differences between acute and chronic pancreatitis. Woke up to four emails to myself with papers to read and sites to reference later.

Sometimes I'm so intimidated by everything there is to learn in medicine, but then again it can so be fascinating that I just want to learn more. I'm not satisfied with what I've learned so far. Thankful that being a scribe affords me opportunities to learn in these digestible increments. Excited to start my master's program at the end of this month- my first courses will be Human Physiology and Biochemistry!


I still sound out princi-PAL when I'm writing like I did in elementary school though. And I don't know how much longer I'll get away with these matching outfits, but I will surely keep trying.