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Wednesday
Apr232014

How to use technology to live well

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Well.

I’m going to begin by telling you something you already know. Health care is changing. Huge, big structural changes. In my neck of the woods, we are beginning to see those changes firsthand. 

A popular general practitioner announced she was opening a VIP clinic, where luxury care was available for a price. My grandmother got a letter informing her she would no longer be seeing her doctor during hospital visits, but would be required to see the on-staff hospitalist. Then, our beloved pediatrician was released from his contract at the hospital unexpectedly. Suddenly, I’m facing several months without care as he reorganizes and opens a private office. 

Now, I’m going to tell you something else. I do not have time for this. I have two small children, approximately five part-time jobs, a house to run, and enough errands to keep a small staff busy. When everything is running smoothly, a doctor’s visit with one child (or — God save me — BOTH children) is an uphill battle. Throw in the ever-changing landscape of our modern medical establishment and suddenly the battle is a war. 

Enter American Well Online Care.  

I have LONG wondered why technology can solve so many problems in our everyday lives but remained largely absent from healthcare. Finally, someone has figured out that the little supercomputer we carry in our pockets can make medicine what it is intended to be — A SOLUTION.

Here was a recent problem in the Holland household. Griffin had a nasty cold for about two weeks. No fever. Nothing major. Just a runny nose, a cough, and lots of complaints. These type of infections drive me crazy. Basically, he was sick enough to have me constantly worrying about it but not quite sick enough for me to brave a doctor’s visit with he and Amos in tow.

Not to mention, my pediatrician is out of commission! 

The solution? American Well Online Care. I downloaded the app to my iPhone and registered within minutes. Suddenly, a list of available physicians appeared. American Well is available 24/7, 365 days a year. No more late night panicked texts to my doctor friends or Google searches that seem to present more questions than answers. I just waited until Nicholas got home (long after most doctor’s offices close) so he could wrangle Amos and clicked the little green videocamera.



Griffin and I sat down and had a doctor speaking to us face-to-face in less time than it takes me to get to my doctor’s office from the hospital parking lot.

He answered my questions and presented a couple of courses of treatment and then sent the prescription right over. 

I just kept thinking, “This is so cool!” Believe me that is not a sentence I have EVER associated with a doctor’s visit. The best part was he e-mailed me a summary of our visit, which I can take to my next pediatrician visit so Griffin has continuous care and nothing gets forgotten. All of the information was accessible but also protected, including all my personal medical information.

Beyond the “where the heck has this service been all my life,” I left the experience feeling like I have another tool in my tool belt. As a mom, I’m always looking for tips and tricks that make my life easier and my kids better. Having a doctor available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is absolutely a solution to a million problems I’ve already encountered in caring for my children and myself — not to mention a million more I’m sure to encounter in the coming years.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Well.

Want to try out American Well? Enter the code SALTANDNECTAR for a free visit good for a year, if you enroll by end of April!

~ Sarah Stewart Holland

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Monday
Apr212014

Sleep Is My First Language

Sleep is my first language. (It's all I think about.)

And English is my fifth. (I can barely string together on coherent sentence. See proof is in the pudding. I meant "a" but wrote "on" — and I can't blame autocorrect.)

Going back to work with a night-waking baby is kicking my butt. There's nothing I can do about it, except wait for this phase to pass or win the lottery so I can retire. We know how this story ends: I'll be a hot tired mess for a few more months, whine about it some, then it will all be a distant memory and I’ll wish he still needed me. Yep, that sounds about right.

Sigh.


Thank God for NPR. I remember listening to Terry Gross’s interviews when driven to ballet in my mom’s Nissan station wagon (has she been on the air for 20 years?). Little did I know then that it prepares you for feigning intelligence and appearing to possess some level of sanity when you are strung out from no sleep.

All I have to say is, “Did you hear [X] on NPR this morning?” and I’ve earned some credibility among my peers, even if the next thing that comes out of my mouth is in alien tongues. Needless to say, I wouldn’t feel smart(ish) without NPR.  Their broadcasts are so good that I might even go undetected at a cocktail party, although I doubt I’ll be at an evening affair anytime soon.

Any tips for faking it until I make it to a full night’s sleep? (P.S. - Coffee and soda are not options.)

~ The Other Sarah

Friday
Apr182014

Sarah's Favorite Things

Spring. Tulips. The. Best.

A dream room.

Family friendly vacay.

#Flamingo.

Secretly be happy.

The art of a written thank you.

~ The Other Sarah

Friday
Apr182014

The Everyday

~ Sarah Stewart Holland

Monday
Apr142014

Loss

On Thursday, Nicholas and I went to the doctor for a routine ultrasound and heard the words no parent wants to hear. "The baby doesn't have a heartbeat." I had worried incessantly about this pregnancy from the beginning and had been expecting to hear those words at every doctor's visit. At first, this seemed to help relieve some of the shock. However, it is doing nothing to help with the overwhelming grief. 

For those of you who have already reached out to us, your love and sympathy are so deeply appreciated. We will be moving forward with the next step medically this week and dealing with our broken hearts for much longer.