Dr. Courtney Howard, MD

Croissants and Epi Pens

I woke up feeling a bit nervous about bringing a 4 and a 6 year old to the depths of Borneo yesterday.  Went out, did errands, found myself with a pile of croissants (Yellowknife is a wonderful place but we don’t do laminated pastry well)…and 3 epi-pens.

My belly is happy and the ER-doc within is reassured.  Ready to board!

Bug Jacket

My 6 year old, Elodie. You gotta love a kid who gets stoked about a bug jacket.

Ugly Travel Pants

I admit it.  I have beige travel pants. They are wonderful.

I bought them in the summer between 1st and 2nd year med school…just a few weeks after my Mom died.  I had been going to take the summer to care for her, but she passed away a bit sooner than we expected after a round of palliative chemo.  So…I spent some days writing, helping my family with her funeral…giving her eulogy…and then found myself with a summer free of plans.

So I made some phone calls and bought some really ugly pants, and soon found myself in the jungle of Costa Rica with two friends, sweating.  But the pants held up.  As they later did in the hills above Dehra Dun, India, as I hiked to a village with a local doctor to help hold a clinic.  And on an HIV/AIDS ward in Nairobi, the day I realized I was a medical tourist and broke into a full-body sweat of shame, vowing to come back to the developing world when I was good for something.

These pants summited Kilimanjaro, and, eventually, earned the ink stains, blue, and black, that speckle their right front pocket, as they accompanied me for 6 months during rounds at an MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières–Doctors Without Borders) pediatric malnutrition project in Djibouti.

The back pocket of these pants is deep enough to hold a bottle of wine or an entire Lonely Planet Guidebook.  They can be made into shorts or capris, there’s a hidden zipper in the front pocket and a clip for your keys.  These are the best pants.  (not a statement any partner I’ve had since the inception of the pants has agreed with…but who asked them, anyhow 🙂

These pants have been parked since I had kids. When I got them out, I grinned.

Post #428

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