May 2021

Hard Traveling

I heard him coming before I saw him.


The sound grew louder as a pale, gaunt man in a red Toyota pickup truck pulled into our clinic’s lot. He parked in front of the window where I was seated.


Saturday night in my living room, I was surrounded by the parents of the children in my daughter’s kindergarten class. I had boldly offered to host a parent social. We were playing Two Truths and a Lie, one of my favorite icebreakers. My turn had come, and I shared three statements. One of my truths was that my daughters were intentionally born at home. Immediately everyone declared this as the lie, joking that I asked for an epidural as soon as I arrived at the hospital. I understood that no one knew me, yet I was thrown by this gross misunderstanding of who I am and the deliberate choices that I make.

When I was pregnant for the first time, I could not conceive of walking out of my house as two people and then returning home as three. As a family physician who practiced obstetrics, I was well-acquainted with the ups and downs of hospital births. I had seen intervention beget further intervention. I resented the television mindlessly blaring while a woman was laboring. I cringed at hospital staff who would chitchat as if the birthing woman was invisible. Once I learned about the improved outcomes for low-risk home …

Birthing Read More »

Why Won’t You Ask Me, Too?

The Brooklyn Bridge and the water running beneath it shimmered in the evening sunlight as I gazed out the window of my  Pace University classroom. Class had just gotten over, and my classmates were making plans to go out for a drink and unwind. Snippets of conversation reached my ears as I gathered up my books and unplugged my computer.

“What about Esther? Shall we ask her?”

“Oh, no! She is Catholic, Indian, and married. She wouldn’t come!”

Existing on the Outside

My ninety-year-old friend gets her hair styled weekly, goes out to dinner often, and invites friends into her home—all during the pandemic. A fifty-year-old friend rented a local movie theater to entertain his friends and himself, held an ice cream social under a gazebo to memorialize his mother (herself a big fan of the icy treat), and spends most evenings at a local pub—all during the pandemic. A close friend is patiently waiting for me to give a thumbs-up to a get-together. More and more people are embracing the freedom of vaccinated life by returning to a somewhat pre-COVID normalcy.

An Editor’s Invitation: Being in the Minority

Dear Pulse readers,
In this country one associates the word “minority” with a skin color that’s different from some shade of pale.
Recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement have underscored the fact that being a Black, brown or Asian person in the US entails more risk, more hurdles, and more daily affronts and assaults than had been previously acknowledged.
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